A Likkle Miss Lou:
How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice
by Nadia L. Hohn ill by Eugenie Fernandes
A poet great and with my pen
Trace paths of peace and harmony
For the uncertain minds of men.’
May 1, 1928
A picture book brimming with poetry, rhythms, and song, A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice introduces young readers to the early years of a native poet and performance artist.
Nadia L. Hohn describes Louise's fascination with the speech she that was an integral part of her daily life. Jamaican patois, an English-based creole language with a West African influence is spoken by the most Jamaicans.
At school, she was required to restrict her language to what was considered "proper" English. Louise was reprimanded by her teacher when she included words and phrases from Jamaican dialect in her assignments. Fortunately, she became a student at Excelsior College, where acceptance and appreciation for her native tongue was encouraged.
Hohn's narrative is rich and colorful. She captures the flavor and cadence of the language in this sumptuous feast of poetic expression.
Fernandes' illustrations tell their own tale. Louise's face moves from doubt and discouragement to wonder and joy. The animated faces of her classmates and native storytellers feature a variety of warm shades of brown.
Back matter includes an extensive Note from the Author with details on the life and works of Coverley. Hohn describes her own introduction to the works of this poet. A glossary, with photos of peanut drops and water crackers, is helpful. References contains a citation list.
Spread out youself deh, Liza.
Dress ooman a come.