Author Mario Picayo Embarks on His Own Caribbean Journey, December 2011
Caribbean author and New York resident Mario Picayo will (almost) follow the text of his popular and best-selling title A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) as he travels from A (Anguilla and Antigua) to S (Saba, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Kitts, St. Vincent) on a month long trip through the islands. Picayo is presenting his book and donating other children’s titles by Caribbean authors to several libraries in the region.
The journey will take him to sixteen islands, where he will meet with librarians, educators, and members of the Ministries of Education. The final stop will return him to his roots, when the Cuban-born author joins hundreds of writers, and readers at the Havana International Book Fair. This twenty-first edition of the Fair is dedicated to the nations of the Caribbean.
A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) has been a best-seller for the last four years, and among the top selling books on Amazon.com’s Caribbean Children Books category. It was selected as Commended Title by the prestigious Americas Award and a copy, dedicated to Sasha and Malia Obama, was presented to Michelle Obama by the First Lady of the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2009.
Silvio Torres-Saillant, author of An Intellectual History of the Caribbean wrote in his review of the book: “A Caribbean Journey from A to Y describes insular portions of the Caribbean region in a manner that truly teaches and delights the child reader for whom the book is intended. . . I can think of no better book for children to begin the lifelong adventure of knowing the Caribbean.”
Picayo explained that the main purpose of his trip is to introduce his book to new audiences, meet local authors and illustrators for possible publication, and donate a set of Caribbean children’s books published by the company he directs, Editorial Campana, to the National Libraries. The books are signed by each author and dedicated to the children of the respective island.
In his role as publisher he will speak about an ongoing project started five years ago in the U.S. Virgin Islands with great success. It involves the creation of high quality, fully illustrated children’s books by local authors, which are given once a year to every school-age child on the islands at no charge to them.
The initiative addresses, and tries to remedy, the lack of access to Caribbean literature for children in the region, the little opportunities available for local authors to publish their work, the difficulties of inter-island distribution, and the high price of books.
“It’s been a dream of mine to do a trip like this,” Picayo expressed. “We need to exchange books so that Caribbean kids understand early-on the historical, cultural and geographical bonds that unite us. I envision a near future where Caribbean children can access a large range of books written by authors and illustrators that understand them because they were once children on these same islands. We need to get to know each other better.”
Picayo’s first stop will be his old home of twenty years, St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands where thousands of copies of The Lesson Box by Tregenza A. Roach and Karen L. Samuel, will be given to the children of the Territory as a gift from the Office of the Governor. Picayo is editor of the project.
Meet Mario during his Caribbean journey.
For dates and times call your local public library or write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anguilla. Edison L Hughes Library, Tel. (264) 497 2441. Email: email@example.com
Antigua Public Library. Tel 268-562-3198. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & Best of Books- Tel. 268-562-3198
Barbados National Library. Bridgetown. Tel. 246-426-3981
Bequia Paget Farm Community Library. Tel784 457 2022, 456 1111 ext 529/530
Carriacou Public Library. Tel. 473-440-2506.
Dominica,Public Libray. Tel. 767-266-3341. Email: email@example.com
Grenada Public Library. Tel. 473-440-2506. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nevis Public Library. Tel. 869-469-0421. Email: email@example.com
Saba Public Library. The Bottom.
St. John, Virgin Islands. Governor’s Annual Children’s Holiday Party. Tel.340-693-4381
St. Kitts. Charles A. Halbert Public Library. Tel. 869-465-2384, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Lucia, Castries. Central Public Library. Tel. 758-452-2875, Email: email@example.com
St. Maarten: Philipsburg Jubilee Library. 721-542-2970, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Governor’s Annual Children’s Holiday Party. Tel. 340-693-4381
St. Vincent Public Library. Tel. 784 457 2022, 456 1111 ext 529/530, Email: PublicLibrary@Caribsurf.com
Union Island Public Library . Tel. 784 457 2022, 456 1111 ext 529/530