The National Library and Information Services (NALIS) has teamed up with local author, Oprah Francis, for the locally produced Marvin and Friends Craft and Storytime mini-series which is currently being aired on TTT, Saturdays, 9:30 am and 3:30 pm and on Tuesdays 4:30 pm.
The mini-series, which premiered on March 20, features animated storytime sessions and craft activities based on the animals featured in the two part book series, The Adventures of Marvin the Mischievous Manicou - Far From Home and The Adventures of Marvin the Mischievous Manicou - Forest Wars. In addition to these two books, the author has a well-produced Marvin and Friends Activity Book which features the manicou, red howler monkey, tatu, quenk, kiskadee and iguana.
Through these books the author seeks to promote local wildlife through fun and creative learning. In addition to educating young readers about flora, fauna and sites in Trinidad and Tobago, Marvin’s playful adventures also aim to help children understand valuable lessons in life such as the power of constructive dialogue to resolve conflict rather than seeking revenge and thinking about the consequences of their actions before they act.
Francis explained that the mini-series also aims to provide educational and engaging material for children, specially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also added, “Trinidad and Tobago is rich in culture and heritage, and I think our children deserve to see that on the programmes they watch and in the books they read. For me, this is a step in the right direction, towards increasing the availability and accessibility of local content for our children in a way that is fun and engaging, all at the same.”
The craft and storytelling sessions were recorded at select public libraries across the country and five copies of each book were donated to the Heritage Library. Accepting the books on NALIS’ behalf on March 2, was Cherylann Quamina Baptiste, acting director of the Heritage Library Division who said that she was excited to receive the publications which are colourful, imaginative and can be used to empower children to make informed, healthy decisions.