A Whole Lotta Love
Everytime I visit Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, one of my favourite spaces is Miss Lou’s Room. Everytime I am in that space I always take the time to read all about Miss Lou on the walls, about her journey and her beautiful poetry. If you aren’t from Toronto or don’t have the opportunity to head down to Harbourfront Centre, thankfully author Nadia L. Hohn is bringing the story of Miss Lou to bookshelves this August. If you don’t already, give Nadia L. Hohn a follow on Instagram (@nadialhohn). Her passion for her work oozes from the screen and you will certainly want to grab all of her books as you know there were written with passion and from her heart. Her joy and her pride in her roots are evident and she joyously shares it through her beautiful picture books.
A Likkle Miss Lou tells the story of how Louise Bennett Coverley found her voice at a school called Excelsior (!). For a long time, young Louise’s love for the musical Jamaican patois she would hear everyday, that filled her soul with happiness, was discouraged. In school her voice would get trapped in her throat for fear her teacher would be disappointed. When she joined Excelsior, she found the courage to share the words she heard around her everyday and was rewarded with cheers. That beautiful response gave her voice wings and she went on to become one of the most beloved poets and folk singers from the Caribbean.
The incredible illustrations by Eugenie Fernandes bring Miss Lou and her home to life. The vibrant colours and vivid illustrations of all the people of Jamaica from whom Miss Lou draws her inspiration are lively illustrated, inviting the reader to Jamaica with Miss Lou to experience the life of the everyday person.
You will want to hop on to YouTube after reading this delightful biography to listen to Miss Lou herself, singing the songs she lovingly shared with the world and made the world embrace the patois that was part of her daily life. She was a trailblazer who created room for other poets and musicians from the Caribbean.