Children’s Books

Cover of Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children

Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children

Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children

Written to provide a academically-sound resource for parents and grandparents, Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children places Bermuda’s Black history in the long context of global African history.   Beginning at the beginning,  in Africa, Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children highlights classical African empires before enslavement, including Kemet (ancient Egypt), Ghana, Mali and Songhay.  Enslavement is addressed in a sobering manner – truthful and with lessons for today. Speaking of lessons, stories have their own glossaries and study questions; the final chapter includes specific lessons from Mwalimu.

Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children includes Sally Bassett, Mary Prince, Joseph Rainey, the founding of the Bermuda Industrial Union and the Bermuda Workers’ Association, the 1959 Theatre Boycott and National Heroes, E.F. Gordon and Pauulu Kamarakefego.  The final chapter provides additional lessons – life-lessons – for loving adults to share with their children.

Beautifully illustrated by Bermudian artist and educator, Angela Ming-Bean (aka Sumata Saa), the Foreword was written by C. Joanne Brangman, director of the National Bermuda Library and has been printed on high quality paper and weighs over a pound.

This is a book for adults to specifically share the history with their children/grandchildren and not wait for school systems to teach it.  It is not a casual book and the stories and accompanying imagery are serious.  It is a coffee table book for families to share together, learn and discuss.  Available in Bermuda at Bookmart.

Reading of Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children at Bermuda National Library

Reading of Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children at Bermuda National Library


What Educators are Saying About Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children:

  • Your book is awesome! I read the book within two hours and will re-read it again. I hope that families in Bermuda embrace this book because the book is really about discovering who we are as a people. A strong sense of self has a positive effect on both the individual and collective psyche of a people!

~Xiomara Balentina, Psychologist and Therapist, St. Maarten, WI

  • …This fine work, if afforded the opportunity to be placed within our schools to be used in the Social Studies curriculum, would bring a sense of pride to our students as they delve into the history of their roots. The layout of the book, with a vocabulary list and challenging questions at the end of each chapter, is most helpful for the reader to gain in-depth understanding and knowledge of our history

~ Earl E. A. Hart, Retired educator, Trustee, Bermuda Union of Teachers

  • Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children is a wonderful resource for educators, parents, and others who recognize and value the importance of teaching children about their history and culture; and who understand how these very critical factors help to shape young people into whole and grounded human beings who value themselves and others. These stories are rich with historical facts and cultural lessons which can serve to strengthen children’s knowledge and understanding of their Bermuda history, the history of Africa and by extension their self knowledge and understanding of others.

~ Dr. Janette Musson, Principal of Dellwood Middle School, Retired

  • I have been familiar with Mwalimu Melodye Micëre Van Putten’s Ashay work for nearly 20 years.  I have attended many of her workshops for students, parents and community members and she is an awesome and inspiring presenter.  … I do believe the Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children can stand on its own as a book for children in a world where it is hard to find these stories.  However, to have teachers given a deeper and broader understanding would absolutely enhance the explanations and affirming nature of the core content.

~ Mary Lodge, Principal of St. George’s Preparatory

  • Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children gives a historical perspective which vividly captures, succinctly yet beautifully, the rich history and tapestry of people of the African Diaspora – specifically, of those many contributions made by Black Bermudians to the advancement of Bermuda’s social, political and educational landscapes. …Van Putten’s significant work serves as a must read, at this critical juncture in Bermuda’s history, for the development of a people and their continued contributions to an ever-advancing Bermudian society.   People of every age stand to benefit mightily from this significant retelling of history.

~Anthony Ball, Educational Therapist, The Berkeley Institute

  • Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children is straightforward; the important historical account of our very own citizens from our island home is warranted.  … I am a lower primary teacher; certain aspects of the book could so easily be adapted to accommodate this level. As a classroom teacher and former social studies teacher I strongly recommend and endorse this book as an addition to the Social Studies curriculum.

~ Kendra Wharton, P1 Teacher, West Pembroke Primary

  • My heart is full as I read the pages of Ashay Bermuda History Stories for Children. The connections and legacy are clear. It is a must read. The words literally come off the pages, and the pictures fill you with an innocence and longing for learning.  As an adult and an educator, from reading this book I am still learning, taking notes and taking it ALL in… Ashay! …This book is a MUST have and a MUST read for all ages and all educational backgrounds. …Many times while reading I shouted “Wow!! I didn’t know that!” I cannot wait to read it again and to share the knowledge.

~ Shalane Dill, Educator and Advisor, The Berkeley Institute

  • … The recently released Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children is a masterful retelling of the history of people of color in Bermuda, expressed in a captivating, straightforward style suitable for all ages. The amazing illustrations by Mrs. Angela Ming Bean, coupled with the perfectly selected historical accounts of life from ancient Africa to modern Bermuda, make this mandatory reading for children and youth of all races and cultures.  The historical content alone makes it an educational gem, but the character-building anecdotes make it an essential gift for our young people at this time of social crisis.

~ Dr. Cheryl Peek-Ball, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health

  • …What a gem of knowledge that fills the gaps in our Bermuda history that was once washed out of many history books! It speaks a truth that we can be proud of and aspire to. It is such an amazing and empowering resource for teachers to share with their students. This book is filled with so much valuable information… It will be a resource used at the library for all of Bermuda’s students and researchers. I hope that consideration will be taken to offer professional development to Bermuda’s teachers for this essential resource…

~ Kenisha Shakir, Librarian, Bermuda National Library

  • My principal gave me Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Children and within 15 minutes, I was asking her for a class set. It is a FAB book! Love it! It is the best children’s book teaching black history that I have seen. I honestly think every kid black, white & other public or private school educated P4- M2 should have a copy!

~ Michelle Wales, Reading Teacher and Librarian, St. George’s Prep

  • Ashay! Bermuda History Stories for Childrenis an essential resource for teaching students… It is clear, easy-to-understand, and broken into useful smaller units. There is no other comprehensive resource that delves into African and Bermudian history, equally celebrating the glories of the African continent and outlines the challenges that Black Bermudians have overcome and continue to face. Our students deserve to be taught their history and this book is absolutely a wonderful tool to do that.

~ Carlita Lodge, Programme Manager, Department of Community & Cultural Affairs


Cultural Fiction

Youth Library reading of books

Bermuda Youth Library reading of books

The Girl Who Would Have Locks

The Girl Who Would Have Locks is the story of Imani Njeri Ani’s journey to self-love and self-acceptance.  Imani doesn’t like her hair – and her hair knows it and decides to leave her.   Though affirmations, Imani learns to love the beauty that was always there – in her hair, skin and features.  The book concludes with an affirmation for children and glossary.

The Boy Who Knew Too Much

Xavier Maboko is Imani’s brother; both children are learning about their history and culture from their grandparents.  When Xavier learns about Malcolm X, he gently challenges his teacher to teach about Malcolm instead of the yearly discussion of MLK…  His teacher is concerned that he knows too much!  A glossary of terms and study questions follow the story.

Reading The Boy Who Knew Too Much

Reading The Boy Who Knew Too Much

MMVP with Angela Ming Bean, illustrator

MMVP with Angela Ming Bean, Illustrator

Kwanzaa: Project D

The story of Imani Njeri and Xavier Maboko Ani, growing up in a culturally conscious home, continues.  As the Ani’s prepare for Kwanzaa, the siblings, noting all of the holiday decorations at school, notice there are none for the cultural holiday of Kwanzaa.  The jump into action, with their parents and grandparents joining in…  As with the other books, a glossary and study questions conclude this informative book on the Pan African holiday of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa: Project D

Kwanzaa: Project D

All books are available at The Bookmart in Hamilton, Bermuda