Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Caribbean Children stories -'Tek Mi! Noh Tek Mi!' Book Review#3

ISBN: 978 976 638 069 4
Pages: 118
Age Group: 10 - 14 years

Publisher: Carlong Publishers(Caribbean) Ltd

Welcome to the world of the fantastic in this collection of ten unusual and exciting Caribbean folktales. Both children and adults will enjoy reading and re-telling these stories with their sometimes very strange characters and events. What would you do if you met so-so head or so-so hand or so-so foot on a lonely country road?  How about the Tata Duende with his feet turned backwards? Or a fish which could give you what you wished for? You won’t be able to put  down this book when you start reading.

-->These stories, traditional and modern, span the CARICOM family of nations: from Belize in Central America to Montserrat in the Eastern Caribbean. The introduction to the folktales by Prof. Maureen Warner-Lewis. is in itself a gem worth reading. She says:

"Magic is a key ingredient of the folktale all over the world, 
 since it is through magic that the real world and the supernatural 
 world can co-exist in the land of the living."   

Expect magic as you read these stories. These folktales depart from the usual Anansi stories of African origin and show derivation from other geographic areas which have contributed to our history and culture. It is in the re-telling that these stories become our own. For example of Ti Jean and Mariquite-ATrue, True Trinidad Fairy Tale by Eintou Springer, Prof Warner-Lewis says:
 "In Europe, many traditional stories end with marriage and with the
 bride and groom living 'happily ever after'. This is the ending
 in this story."

This story also follows the classical patterns of traditional story telling (the fairy tale) with three impossible tasks given to the hero by the king. In carnival country it is not a problem that the country has no king. In any case the king is also the devil. Ti Jean can carry out the tasks only with the magical help of the heroine, Mariquite. But how much more Caribbean can you get than this:

 "Look! Mariquite say, and take out some food from her basket.
  It was good food - cassava and dumpling with fish steam down
  in coconut milk.Ti Jean eat and eat. Then he wash it down with
  a drink of mauby."

Another interesting feature of this folktale is that the French - based patois spoken by some Trinis is interspersed throughout the story.( The accompanying audio CD lets you hear how this sounds)

Some of the stories are set in modern times - there are still ghosts in Guyana, and two are based in history -Caribs, Tainos and Spaniards. Much to enjoy here. Four of the stories are on the accompanying audio CDs

Cherrell Shelley-Robinson -Jamaica
Eintou Pearl Springer -Trinidad and Tobago
Jane Grell - Montserrat
Jean F. Forbes -Jamaica
Michelle M. Petty -Belize
Mohamed Fazloor Yasin - Guyana
Myrna Manzanares -Belize
Nellie Payne  -Grenada

Audio Disc #1
Tek Mi! Noh Tek Mi! Read by Myrna Manzanares (Belize)
Lazy Manny-oh!  Read by Leon South (Jamaica)
Audio Disc #2
Miss Angie Read by Godfrey Rock (Guyana)
Ti Jean and Mariquite read by Eintou Pearl Springer (Trinidad and Tobago)

For a 'gleaner' review see

Carlong contact

 Purchase online
Sangsters Book Stores in Jamaica
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