I chose Coming to England, which is written by Floella Benjamin, and illustrated by Diane Ewen.
I am of the generation that grew up with Floella Benjamin and her TV programme Playschool, and as a kid I adored her, so when I saw that she was the author behind this fantastic book I knew immediately that it would be my choice for Windrush Day, 22nd June 2021.
Coming to England tells the story of her family coming to England as part of the Windrush generation. We follow her as she is left behind in Trinidad while her parents come to England to make a life for themselves before the children arrive. We experience their long boat journey and their excitement at seeing their parents. They have a lot of ups and downs.
This is written in a child friendly way so even the youngest child can understand it, I will be using this book all week to celebrate the Windrush generation with my children at school, and for me, Floella Benjamin is someone I look up to even more then ever, if that was possible.
Floella has also written a middle grade version of Coming to England, also published by Macmillan (in 2017), which is illustrated by Michael Frith, and offers older readers a quality text that will resonate with them long after they finish reading.
Both books are available to purchase from all good booksellers, and are highly recommended titles for school libraries, and home reading too.
Sam – I chose The Story of the Windrush by K.N.Chimbiri because I found this book incredibly informative, and I love the illustrations that further bring the story of the historical Windrush generation to life. The content is such that any age reader would find this an interesting read, and consequently feel that much has been learnt too.
The illustrations have a timeless classic design to them, which breathes life into the characters and scenes being depicted whilst transporting readers amongst the respective Windrush pioneers that feature within this brilliant book. This title is the perfect resource for learning about the Windrush generation, the pretext to the ship carrying men, women and children to London arriving, and what followed. I can see this being an invaluable read and resource within schools, and highly recommend this title for library stock.
Children I shared this book with indicated that they found the content easy to understand, and the content interesting throughout. A huge hit was the timeline at the end of the book, which we used as an overview of events as we discussed the Windrush voyage of 1948 together once we had finished sharing the book.