Caribbean Children’s Literature, V­olume 2: Critical Approaches

298p. ISBN 9781496844583; ISBN 9781496844590.
Scholars from around the globe offer historical and modern perspectives on colonialism and its long-term effects on Caribbean culture and youth literature. The book also shares analyses of current titles, as well as perspectives from contemporary authors based in the Caribbean or representing the region from around the world. As discussed throughout the 24 articles, all of these nations have histories steeped in imperialism, primarily with England, Spain, France, and the Netherlands. Most are now independent, but many remain administered by their colonizer, or at least deeply affected by the occupation, as reflected in their arts and literature. For example, the official language of a Caribbean nation is often that of the colonizing country, despite most residents speaking Creole in daily life. Children’s books published in the past were done so in the language of school and state, not of home and marketplace. These two volumes discuss problematic and culturally acceptable historic Caribbean children’s literature, linguistic evolution in publication, imperial effects on writing and its readers, and global perspectives on the current state of the Caribbean and its literature around the world. Discussions with highly successful authors are also included. While fascinating and informative, this academically-oriented compendium is unlikely to suit the average public or school librarian seeking purchasing information on Caribbean kid lit.
VERDICT Considering content, length, and price point, academic institutions and big public systems serving large Caribbean populations are the best audiences for this pair of publications.

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