The first time that I realized that my kids had no idea what jumbies and the like were, my youngest son 6 or 7 and was going to be in a pan concert There was a play included with a little part about douen. I didn't go to the rehearsal, and my Christian American husband called me... confused. They had explained it all to him, but he still didn't love the idea.
In America there are plenty of fairy tales that keep kids and teens from doing certain things... How do you keep kids from being vain and spending too much time in the bathroom? Bloody Mary. Well, maybe that's not the point of that one, but either way, the husband wasn't having any of it. He could play in the concert, but that part of the story was off limits. Dead kids with their feet on backwards? Nope. He wasn't going for that - no sir. I didn't argue. I have to admit, like any Caribbean kid, these stories freak me out.
So enter Tracey Baptiste's new book, "
Socamom Caribbean Book Club:
Buy the book: On Amazon -
Here’s some more information about her latest book, published by Algonquin Young Readers -
I was given a copy of the book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They’re just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?
When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market the next day, she knows something unexpected is about to happen. And when this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, cooking dinner for
With its able and gutsy heroine, lyrical narration, and inventive twist on the classic Haitian folktale “The Magic Orange Tree,”
The book’s website has several field guide videos to help readers who are not familiar with Jumbies, Douen, Lagahoo, La Diablesse, and Socouyant. There are also great guides for teachers and parents who wish to use the book as part of their curriculum. It is a nice literature companion to a geography or history lesson on the Caribbean. Find everything you need here: