C is For Carnival – Our newest D.E.A.R. Book!

Chalkboard Publishing is thrilled to announce the release of our newest D.E.A.R. book, C is for Carnival, written by the amazing Yolanda T. Marshall with gorgeous illustrations from Daria Lavrova.

C is for Carnival is a beautiful, engaging and educational ABC picture book about a significant celebration in Caribbean culture. It is about dancing, singing, freedom, liberation, and the vibrant spirit of Caribbean people. Carnival or popularly referred to as Caribana in Canada is North America’s largest street festival, which hosts over 1.5 million visitors for the parade.

C is for Carnival Cover

A Celebration of Canadian Caribbean Culture

C for Carnival is an invitation for everyone to learn about and feel a part of this wonderful annual Caribbean celebration in Canada. It’s an open invitation to celebrate Caribbean culture and become enlightened by Carnival’s true essence, regardless of their own cultural background or experience.

“I feel it is vital for children, parents and educators to engage in a fun reading experience,” explains Yolanda. “Stories and educational children’s books like C is for Carnival and My Soca Birthday are the gateway to nurturing multiculturism in Canada for our younger generation. It is also essential for children of the Caribbean diaspora to feel included. All kids deserve to have access to diverse literature to gain knowledge about other cultures and their own. Caribbean Carnival has been in Canada since 1967 and will forever be celebrated. This reality deserves a children’s book, which we never had before, C is for Carnival.”

As a member of the Caribbean community, Yolanda has been “playing mas” in the parade since she was a child. She has even participated in the Canadian Carnival parade a few times as an adult.

Yolanda recalls that first visit to Canada’s Carnival:

“I was overwhelmed by the joy, the volume of the crowd, and the fact that I was surrounded by many Caribbean like myself. I felt like I found my home away from home. It is a privilege to have one’s culture appears so loud and beautiful in a foreign country. It is the time of year when I feel Canada is telling me, ‘I see you, I made a home for you, you belong here!’ It is a message I will pass on to my son, and books are my best way to open the teachings and dialogue with him. I want to share my joy for Carnival with everyone; the dancing Caribbean child within me inspired this book.”

Made in Record Time During the Pandemic

C for Carnival was a direct collaboration between Chalkboard C.E.O. Demetra Turnbull and Yolanda T. Marshall, and it all happened in record time during the pandemic! “I enjoy working with Demetra because she has an educational publishing company and is a mom who gets it, and she shares the passion of having these stories heard,” shares Yolanda. “C is for Carnival has a perfect home under the D.E.A.R. Books imprint for this publisher and I am excited about the books we are working on. The illustrator captures the energy and joy of the masqueraders. We navigated through tight timelines, and Scott from Chalkboard is our technical design genius.”

From A to Z, C is for Carnival is a rhyming alphabet book that celebrates Canada’s Caribbean Carnival. This engaging and educational book features a diverse cast of children in vibrant costumes as they ‘play mas’ while dancing to Soca and Calypso music. The book includes a glossary to help young readers along with their parents and teachers to review what they’ve learned.

As part of its educational content, C is for Carnival includes printable worksheets, colouring activities, and steps for how to create your own parade at home. There’s even a Spotify playlist!

Listen on Spotify here!

“I hope we are all heartened to learn about each other, ‘play ah mas’ with one another and foster a knowledgeable, cultured society for the future generation in Canada.”

Yolanda T. Marshall is a Guyanese-born Canadian author who has written several books including another D.E.A.R. book My Soca Birthday Party: With Jollof Rice & Steel Pans, which was selected as one of CBC’s Best Canadian Picture Books of 2020!

Pre-order your copy today! The official book launch is Sunday, August 1st, 2021.