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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Anita and the Dragons
by Hannah Carmona
Age Range: 6-8
Anita watches the large winged beasts as they roar and shake flying high above her in the sky. As she hops from one cement roof to another in the rural village in the Dominion Republic where she lives, Anita never lets them scare her because she is a valiant princesa. Soon, a dragon will carry Anita, her parents and two brothers far away from their island to live in a distant land. Anita must face her fears: leaving the familiar behind and going into the unknown to begin life in a new country.
Latinx writer, actor and director Hannah Carmona based in Tennessee, has written a gorgeous and moving tale about an immigrant family leaving their home country for a better life which was inspired by her mother’s own story. The beautiful lyrical prose express Anita’s fear and sadness at leaving her beloved homeland – “wings protrude from either side. Eyes line the slender body. Already the beast hums in anticipation” . As Anita breathes in the sea salt-drenched air she sends a silent message to her island which is “filled with mango-sweet kisses; black stormy nights; glassy, blue waves; spicy, hot heat; and sandy, snug hugs” and promises that one day she will return.
Award-winning Brazilian artist Anna Cunha’s stunning illustrations in a mix of soft hues and rich tones compliment the mood of the text perfectly.