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ISLAND IN THE SUN by Harry Belafonte


by Harry Belafonte & illustrated by Lord Burgess

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8037-2387-3
Publisher: Dial

Belafonte and Burgess’s charmer of a calypso song is set to Ayliffe’s lively, tropics-shimmering, cut-paper collage. Anyone familiar with the tune (or who can read music, as the score is included at both ends of the book) will be happy to endow a reading with the beat, but the story also works very nicely on its own. It is a love song for Jamaica, to the beauties of place and culture, to those elements of the island that bring a smile to the faces of those who have visited or lived there. The book is also testament to the power of calypso, with its evocative language and phrasing that can lodge in the mind and endure: “When morning breaks the heaven on high,/I lift my heavy load to the sky,” and “I hope the day will never come/That I can’t wake to the sound of the drum.” (Picture book. 5-9)