Kenya’s homework assignment is to share her favorite song with her class. Can she find the perfect one?
A family full of music and laughter tries to help young Kenya find a song to share with her classmates. Her father takes her to the Caribbean Cultural Center, where rooms are dedicated to different countries. Kenya visits rooms filled with the music of Trinidad, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, yet she still cannot choose a favorite song. What will she present to her classroom? A follow-up to Kenya’s Word (2006), this book cannot quite decide its focus. Readers learn the names of musical genres, instruments and the Caribbean nations represented in Kenya’s neighborhood. The illustrations are adequate but provide scarce clues to each culture aside from brief references to dances or instruments. The musical theme for the story is obvious, yet it is missing melodic words or a rhythmic cadence to the lengthy text. Kenya’s family, however, proves to be helpful, talented and full of joyful music, surprising her classmates with a new song.
While this provides a glimpse of a loving family living in a multicultural neighborhood, it misses the mark to truly celebrate Caribbean music and diversity. (Picture book. 4-8)