This book is a welcome addition to Caribbean literature
Celebrating Me is a story set in the Caribbean community of Valentine Grove. Described by its author as a "coming-of-age story for girls", it tells the story of four girls of age eleven to twelve years, who come to terms with menstruation. The children's varying family circumstances, so typical of the Caribbean, are expressed in their different perceptions and therefore their responses to this biological phenomenon.
The story, entwined with the typical experiences of Caribbean girls, goes on to explain the biology of menstruation, and ends with thu girls' acceptance of the changes in their bodies, and indeed their celebration of womanhood. Children and adults are also given guidance in the use of the book in special sections on "A Word to Young Readers" and "A Word to Parents and Adults". Importantly, the book is short and easy to read, and is therefore well suited for its young audience.
This book is a welcome addition to Caribbean literature. The well written story, with different characters and personalities, will allow girls in the Caribbean to easily see themselves in this story. The story will also help to demystify menstruation for boys.
Additionally, research in the Caribbean has identified the challenge that many parents and other adults have with discussing biological events with their children, often resulting in children obtaining inaccurate information from other sources. Parents and other adults who work with children in schools, communities, youth groups and the like, will welcome this book, which will be of great assistance in "breaking the ice".
Dr. Maureen Samms-Vaughan
Professor of Child Health, Child Development and Behaviour,
University of the West Indies (UWI)
An Ideal Time for this Book
"...I talk about our stories celebrating our children, bringing to our children a celebration of their lives, validating our way of life... I must commend this writer, Colleen Wint, for thinking to do this story about a very sensitive subject...However, as a society, we are beginning to have the essential conversations about our children, especially our girls, in the media, in our various agencies and organizations. Consequently, perhaps this is an ideal time for this book to come out. It can then be a part of the conversation." See the full blog at Caribbean Children's Literature Diane Browne
A welcome addition to the scarce literature for the young women of tomorrow
Even though teen and preteen girls in today’s world are publicized as being more sophisticated and “with it” than growing girls of the past, I’d be willing to wager that there are thousands of parents who still struggle with educating their daughters about those biological givens leading toward womanhood. With the rise of single parents (moms and dads), the hectic life schedules, the difficulty of finding meaningful discussion times for personal education about our bodies, how they work, and how to take care of them, and the continuation of adults reticent to talk about such things, our daughters and others who should know, find themselves on the short side of information.
A new book by Jamaican author, communications and social development professional, Colleen Wint, Celebrating Me, is a delightful story of young girls, their friendships, their challenges and their discovery of how the world works for them, is a welcome addition to the scarce literature for the young women of tomorrow. Ms. Wint tells the story in authentic ways, with good writing, entertaining exchanges among the characters, real situations of home and school, and she incorporates the information all young girls need to have in direct and proper language without hesitation and with a good degree of empowerment and understanding. Not only will parents benefit from this “guide” and discussion tool, but professionals in other organizations of teen care and management will as well. Celebrating Me is an easy and delightful way to talk about hard topics. Thanks to Ms. Wint for understanding how to do that.
Jim Rogers, M. Ed. CFLE, Parenting and Family Life Educator, Vice President, still learning inc
I wish I'd had a book like this when I was 12! It's beautifully written and illustrated. It's a subject that needs more airing and open discussion and would be useful to a lot of youngsters.
Annie, Writer/Editor, Kingston Jamaica.
I need this for my daughter, like NOW! They grow up so fast nowadays!
Karen, mother of 8-year-old, Toronto, Canada.
I loved it! I enviably wished I had something similar for my sons. Not to mention wishing I had had this in my own life for me!
Patricia, daughterless mother, Kingston, Jamaica.
Three cheers! This topic is SO needed!
Jody, Social Worker, Ohio
When will the one for boys come out? Our children really need more material like this - and so do us parents!
Neville, father of a boy and girl, Kingston, Jamaica