J is for Jamaica by Benjamin Zephaniah, Prodeepta Das
  

J is for Jamaica

Written by Benjamin Zephaniah, Prodeepta Das
Illustrated by
Part of the World Alphabet Series

RRP £6.99

Synopsis

J is for Jamaica by Benjamin Zephaniah, Prodeepta Das

From Cricket to Pumpkin, from Hummingbird to Yam - this is a photographic alphabet showing Jamaica in all its colourful diversity. In vibrant rhyming verse, Benjamin Zephaniah explores some of the sights, sounds and tastes of Jamaica, from the bustling capital of Kingston, to the peaceful and serene Blue Mountain. A perfect way to introduce children to this small and beautiful Caribbean island with a big heart.

Reviews

The striking coloured photographs on each page breathe meaning into the diversity of Jamaican life and contrast vividly the sometimes drab existence we have in the UK Not only in the bright colours but in the attitudes to life, which is for living, and love, which is for everyone || ... beautifully vibrant photographs ... What makes this different from similar books, and therefore special for me, is that Benjamin doesn't stick to the usual touristy sights but shows us the zinc roofs of the downtown shanty towns in Kingston, the hair plaiting and the gatherings on the veranda, which are so much a part of life at the heart of the island. A lovely introduction to Jamaica for children ... || This book is an enchanting way of introducing children to this beautiful Caribbean island, as well as sharing in Benjamin Zephaniah's passion for poetry. Prodeepta Das's photographs add authenticity and atmosphere to the book || With a vivid poem and photograph for each letter of the alphabet, this is a beautiful introduction to all aspects of life in Jamaica. Sugar cane, pumpkin and ugli fruit are just some of the gorgeous foods on show, netball and cricket some of the sports. And behind it all is the wonderful background of a beautiful country. A book to feast the eye and the ear || This well-known series of photographically illustrated books has expanded to cover many worldwide localities. Although it is, strictly speaking, non-fiction the text here is unusual, and rather special: lovely, witty verses covering Jamaican life and people from A to Z. The author

-eyed, sharply written pages with evocative photographs as a perfect accompaniment. || The verses are as full of Jamaican beauty as the stunning photographs. || With a vivid poem and photograph for each letter of the alphabet, this is a vivid introduction to all aspects of life in Jamaica. Sugar cane, pumpkin and Ugli fruit are just some of the gorgous food on show; netball and cricket are among the sports. Behind all are Prodeepta Das's atmospheric and vibrant photographs of a beautiful country.

About the Author

Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah was born and raised in Birmingham, England. He cannot remember a time when he was not creating poetry but this had nothing to do with school where poetry meant very little to him, in fact he had finished full time education at the age of 13. His poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls 'street politics'. His first real public performance was in church when he was 10 years old, by the time he was 15 he had developed a strong following in his home town of Handsworth where he had gained a reputation as a young poet who was capable of speaking on local and international issues. He loved Handsworth, he called it the Jamaican capital of Europe but although his work had become popular within the African-Caribbean and Asian community he thought the town was too small, he was not satisfied preaching about the sufferings of Black people to Black people, so he sought a wider mainstream audience. At the age of 22 he headed south to London where his first book Pen Rhythm was published by Page One Books. This was a small, East London based publishing co-operative that were keen on publishing poets who were rooted in their communities. They published Zephaniah when others failed to tune into the new poetry that was about to emerge. The book sold well going into 3 editions but it was in performance that the Dub (Reggae) Poet would cause a revolution, a revolution that injected new life into the British poetry scene and attracted the interest of many mainstream publishers, many of whom had sent refusal letters to him only 12 months earlier. In the early Eighties when Punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about SUS Laws, high unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Zephaniah's poetry could be heard on the demonstrations, at youth gatherings, outside police stations, and on the dance floor. It was once said of him that he was Britain's most filmed, photographed, and identifiable poet, this was because of his ability to perform on stage, but most of all on television, bringing Dub Poetry straight into British living rooms. The mission was to take poetry everywhere, he hated the dead image that academia and the establishment had given poetry and proclaimed that he was out to popularise poetry by reaching people who did not read books, those that were keen on books could now witness a book coming to life on the stage. This poetry was political, musical, radical, relevant and on TV. In the nineties his book publications, record releases and television appearances increased in Britain, although he has concentrated on performing outside Europe. He feels at home anywhere the oral tradition is still strong and lists South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan and Colombia as some of his most memorable tours. In fact life has been one long tour but this is the only way the oral tradition can live. Over a 22-day period in 1991 he performed on every continent on this planet. Periodically The Benjamin Zephaniah Band takes to the road, the nature of the modern music business means recordings reach places around the globe a lot quicker than the poet does, and this means that many people around the world are more familiar with the poet's music than his performances, plays or books. His only official fan club developed in Malawi in Central Africa and his only Number One Hit Record was in the former Yugoslavia where the Rasta LP was released on the Helidon label. He was the first person to record with the Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela. Free South Africa by Benjamin Zephaniah and the Wailers was recorded at Marley's Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica. Mandela heard the tribute whilst in prison on Robben Island and soon after his release he requested an introductory meeting with Zephaniah, they have now built a relationship which has led to Zephaniah working with children in South

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
32 pages

Author

Benjamin Zephaniah, Prodeepta Das
More books by Benjamin Zephaniah, Prodeepta Das

Publisher

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

15th January 2009

ISBN

9781845076092


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