It’s often said that anywhere you go in the world, you can find a Jamaican and our literature is also making great global inroads. Celebrated Jamaican author Jean Hawthorn-DaCosta’s two captivating picture books, Jamaica in My Tummy and Leroy Adventures of a Yaad Boy have joined an international collection of books via the 2023 International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) Conference in Rome, Italy.
Featuring hundreds of librarians from across the globe, the IASL Conference showcased the finest books for young readers. The Jamaica Library Service (JLS) handpicked these distinctly Jamaican titles to be part of the prestigious Children’s and Young Adult global collection, representing Jamaica’s literary brilliance and cultural diversity.
Both books are published by Kingston independent press Blue Banyan Books. Jamaica in My Tummy takes readers on a wonderful journey across Jamaica while celebrating family, culture, and the island’s delicious cuisine. Leroy Adventures of a Yaad Boy is a salute to Jamaican boyhood. It introduces readers to Leroy’s delightful escapades as he explores his charming community.
Both books also feature rich, vibrant, and colourful illustrations. Jamaica in My Tummy is Illustrated by Pete McDaniel while Keddan Savage illustrates Leroy Adventures of a Yaad Boy.
The JLS was represented by Ms. Lorraine McLean, Regional Director, JLS and the collection will be housed at the Lasallian Library in Rome.
Jean Hawthorn-DaCosta’s engaging storytelling as well as the captivating illustrations have earned widespread acclaim. The JLS’s selection of these titles underscores their universal appeal and cultural significance, marking them invaluable additions to libraries internationally.
Jean Hawthorn-DaCosta expressed her delight, stating, “I am thrilled that Jamaica in My Tummy and Leroy Adventures of a Yaad Boy have been recognized on the global stage. It’s an honor to share Jamaican stories with readers from diverse backgrounds.”
The inclusion of these books in the international collection offers an exceptional opportunity to share Jamaican culture, traditions, and values with young audiences worldwide, fostering a deeper appreciation for the island’s rich heritage.