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08 May 2006

OUT OF THE PENS AND MOUTHS OF BABES

Children of the Port of Spain Children’s Library recently participated in the annual commemoration and celebration of World Book and Copyright Day which pays “tribute to books and authors, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity”.

This year, instead of featuring established authors as had been done in the past, stories written by children at the 2005 writing workshop, “Book Adventure,” were featured. Stories of the 12 children ranging in ages from seven to 13 were highlighted at a programme entitled “Young Voices: Tales from the Writer’s Workshop” held recently at the National Library’s Audio Visual Room.

This programme allowed the budding authors to share their stories with other children and provided an opportunity for staff of the library to recognize their accomplishments and present them with the customary World Book and Copyright Day rose and book. Journals were presented to each child to encourage the continuation of the writing habit. All the young authors were able to attend, but their works were presented through other children of the library.

The authors and titles presented were:

  • Kyla Balvant: “How the Thin Hippo Became Fat” (read by Clare Sankar)
  • Christopher Anthony Best: “Our Hero, the Saviour of the Day” (read by Shalana De Leon)
  • Nakima Cuffie: “My Life as a Pair of Shoes”
  • Nyasha Cuffie: “From Disobedient to Obedient”
  • Adele Dolabaille: “Why the Giraffe has a Long Neck”
  • Justine Dolabaille: “Why Fishes Have Gills”
  • Arlena Gibran: “Belle’s Secret”
  • Shauntelle Govia: “How the Monkey got a Red Bottom” (read by Loshanna Pellew)
  • Stepahn Griffith: “How Reptiles got their Armour” (read by Marcus Holder-Bute)
  • Sadie Isidore: “Why the Snake Sheds Its Skin”
  • Shanice Lynch: “Why Birds Live in Trees”
  • Denisha Noray: “How Polly Crackers Learned to Talk” (read by Dayna LePlatte)

NALIS plans to feature these stories in a calendar to be made available for widespread distribution by the end of this year and to continue the writer’s workshop during this year’s holiday programme. This celebration was certainly a reminder to us all who work for and with children, of the wonderful benefits of allowing them to find and use their voices.


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