Passion is a hell of a thing. In 2012, a young Trinidad and Tobago woman channeled her passion into the creation of a children’s book. She had been compelled to write it, at the time having been a resident of the United States. “I had been really homesick and my babysitting experience at the time, also contributed to that desire to deliver something like this. My son was born in the US after I started the book and having him was my reason to complete it.”
“Grandpa Take Me To T&T”- a story of one child’s heartfelt desire to understand T&T’s culture, was a step Khamini Leston is today extremely proud to have taken.
As Trinidad and Tobago celebrates its 54th Independence this year, the young author is pulling out all stops and encouraging parents in T&T and the Caribbean by extension, to place more emphasis on reading and patriotism. “Reading is such a beautiful and necessary part of a child’s development. It fosters an appreciation for language and influences creative expression as kids grow. We’ve adapted so much to technological advancements that many children aren’t reading books as they once did. The physical act of picking up a book and getting engrossed in its pages is incomparable. There’s no way a television show or a game on a Tablet can replace that,” said Leston. She also feels that more Caribbean children need to be taught about the cultures of their respective countries from a very young age, explaining that patriotism can only come if there is genuine love for country.
With just the right touch of creative visual appeal delivered by illustrator and photographer, Zakiya Gayle, Leston’s simple yet engaging content is appropriate for the young and impressionable. “When the book was launched in 2012, it was well received in the New York city area. Now, I feel it’s fitting for the book to re-emerge, if not to fulfill my personal ambitions, to help foster that love for reading together with love of country, that I mentioned earlier,” said the mother of one.
Available for purchase on Amazon, at Irie Elephant in Maraval, Trinidad and even at the Piarco International Airport’s bookstore, “Grandpa Take Me To T&T” is the perfect keepsake for any child this Independence, or anytime of the year. The book, which sells for $9.99USD, is also available in soft copy format for Kindle and Apple devices.