June is Caribbean Heritage Month, so it’s the perfect time for us to share some of our favorite Caribbean books for kids. These 11 picture books honor the diversity of Caribbean heritage and island life.
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1. All the Way to Havana by Magarita Engle
On a drive to Havana, Cuba, a young boy and his family enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling city.
2. Caribbean Dream by Rachel Isadora
Caribbean Dream celebrates the simple beauty of a West Indian island’s landscape.
3. Malaika’s Costume by Nadia Hohn
After her mother moves to Canada to earn a better living for their family, Malaika and her grandmother find ways to continue important traditions, including making her costume for carnival.
4.Janjak & Freda Go to the Iron Market by Elizabeth Turnbull
Cousins Janak and Freda visit Haiti’s well-known Iron Market and experience all of its joy and chaos.
5. Grandpa Take Me to T&T by Khamini Leston
A young boy from Brooklyn desperately wants to visit Trinidad & Tobago, his grandfather’s home country.
6. Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia Hohn
Malaika comes to terms with her new life in a new country that does not celebrate the customs and traditions she holds dear.
7. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
Drum Dream Girl tells the story of how Millo Castro Zaldarriaga defied Cuba’s taboo against female drummers.
8. Tap-Tap by Karen Lynn Williams
After a long day’s work selling fruit in the market, Sasifi is excited to use her earnings on a tap-tap ride home.
9. Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale by Marjuan Canady
A young boy, Winston, visits his aunt in Brooklyn to get her callaloo recipe, which transports him to the island of Tobago where mystery unfolds.
10. Anna Carries Water by Oliver Senior
Set in Jamaica, Anna longs to carry water on her head like her older siblings. Anna perseveres and learns a few lessons along the way.
11. Drummer Boy of John John by Mark Greenwood
Drummer Boy of John John is the story of Winston Spree Simon’s early life in John John, Trinidad, and his development of the steel drum.
What are you reading to celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month? Do you have other favorite Caribbean books for kids? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
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