Coomacka Island: The Story of Spider & Ant (book 1)
The Story of Spider and Ant, is the first book in a series written by Don P. Hooper and illustrated by Darnel Degand. Coomacka is an unchartedIsland, where each of the stories takes place. Although the Islands itself is a fictional place, much of the inspiration is based on Afro- . In this story, Spider manipulates Ant by being dishonest and pretending to be injured. Ant, believing his friend, enlists his family to help. After working all day for Spider, the ants were tired. However, the selfish Spider had no compassion for the ants nor did he appreciate all their hard work. Reveling in his deception and trickery, the greedy spider celebrated. However, the truth was soon revealed. Realizing this is not how friends are supposed to interact the ant sets out to teach the spider a lesson.
This beautifully written story has an important lesson hidden just below the surface. Books such as this, that teach silently, while entertaining loudly are rare finds indeed. The rhythmic sounds of the island are beating within the colorful drawings. The expressive eyes of the characters convey genuine emotion. A fun, entertaining story that will keep children wide eyed and interested. And that’s exactly what a good children’s book should do!
: Aansi Jr and the Mango Truck (book 2)
Anansi Jr and the Mango Truck is the second installment in theseries. Based in part, on Afro-Caribbean , Anansi was the great trickster and somewhat of cult hero to islanders. For hundreds of years, folk tales about the Macka Tree and the spirits dwelling within roots have been passed down through the generations. As with many cherished stories, the fictional fires erupted from a spark of truth.
The story begins with AJ tending his garden, filled with beautiful plants, including his award winning Monkey Tail Shrub. There was only one thing he loved more than gardening and that was eating. AJ was also a very greedy spider. However, on this day, he would learn a valuable lesson about the spirit of giving and the meaning of friendship.
Once again, Hooper and Degand have delivered a fictional tale, filled with life lessons of immense importance. From the first colorful page, the reader is transported to the heart of the Caribbean. The emotion-filled drawings bring the words, as well as, the island to life. Introducing names with various origins, such as Swahili and Haitian, offers children an opportunity to expand their vocabulary, while embracing cultural diversity. Althoughis an uncharted, fictional island, the morals and values found here have universal appeal. Featuring an entertaining forward and fun facts at the conclusion, this is a multi-layered, multi-cultural series that will be cherished by all who read it.