‘We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me,’ by Benjamin Zephaniah & Onyinye Iwu.

The arrival of the Windrush in 1948 is celebrated every year on Windrush Day, 22nd June. Until recently, there were very few children’s books about the influx of men, women, and children from Caribbean countries coming to the U.K. to start new lives and fill post-war labour shortages.

Award-winning Dr Benjamin Zephaniah has previously written ‘Windrush Child,’ a novel which is an amalgamation of the stories – good, bad and ugly, told to him by people of his generation about growing up in the ‘mother country.’ He has now told the story of Mona Baptiste’s journey in poetic form, accompanied with the vibrant illustrations of Onyinye Iwu.

“The hopes, dreams and bravery of the Windrush generation are expressed in this vivid story through the real-life experiences of Trinidadian musician, Mona Baptiste.

As young Mona sets sail on the Empire Windrush from Trinidad to England, her heart is full of hope and nerves at what the future may hold.

‘Joy is what I bring, so I just want to sing.’

Experience the hopes, dreams and bravery of the Windrush generation through the remarkable real-life story of Trinidadian musician, Mona Baptiste.”

I was fascinated to read the incredible journey of singer Mona Baptiste who left behind her family in Trinidad, full of hope and optimism, to fulfil her dream of singing in England. The biographical aspect of this book will make it all the easier for children to get carried away with and go on a journey across the ocean and around Europe, singing and dancing as they go.

It’s so important that children learn about all aspects of the U.K.’s history, including the recent Windrush scandal and the impact it had on those who immigrated here and their families. It is through books that children can come to understand the past and develop empathy for those impacted by events.

This is such a joyous, inspiring read which I would throughly recommend for anyone aged 3+

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Scholastic for sending me this title to review*

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