The Black Lake, written by librarian Grace Achoy and beautifully illustrated by her daughter, Jade Achoy, was launched at the National Library in December. Primarily written and designed for children, the book features an ancient Amerindian legend about the Pitch Lake of Trinidad which is known as one of the great natural wonders of the world.
The book tells the story of a little Amerindian girl named Tacumeh, the daughter of the village chief who lived in La Brea with her family until one day the villagers got their god angry because of a terrible act (they killed the hummingbird). The book tells of how she escaped death and how this act caused the formation of the Pitch Lake.
At the launch, the author revealed that she wanted persons to become aware of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture and legends. Achoy said, “As a librarian, I believe that an interesting story with beautiful illustrations will help children discover the pleasures of reading and encourage learning.” She also said that she came across the Amerindian folklore when she was studying history at school.
The illustrator said, “I am fortunate that the author is my mother because she allowed me to do whatever I wanted and go in any direction I thought was good. I had to undertake extensive research into the folklore, history and life of the Amerindians.”
Grace Achoy is a Librarian IV employed with the National Library and Information Authority (NALIS) in charge of the south region libraries.Jade currently teaches at the University of the West Indies and she is also a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.
NALIS congratulates Grace on the publication of her first book.