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Formats
Hardcover Details
  • 02/2021
  • 0692984623
  • 48 pages
  • $24.99
Paperback Details
  • 02/2021
  • 978-1735904122
  • 48 pages
  • $14.99
Daniel J. O'Brien
Author, Illustrator, Service Provider
I Am The Midnight Robber
Daniel J. Obrien, Illustrator
Meet lil' miss Sugarcane, a little girl with the soul of Trinidad's Carnival running through her veins. She wants nothing more than to be the best street performer around, The Midnight Robber! Witness a determined little girl and her family encounter hurdles along the way and conquer them together. With her robber's rhyme, she will tell her story as only she can! As lil' miss Sugarcane works to carve out her unique identity, will she become the BIGGEST BADDEST Midnight Robber there ever was?
Reviews
This unique, vibrant picture book follows a little girl’s journey to understand and be true to herself amidst the lively backdrop of carnival season in Trinidad, where New York-based author/illustrator O’Brien was born. The daughter of carnival revelers, Lil’ Miss Sugarcane is raised to love the exuberant pre-Lenten celebration. The book starts with her parents’ love story–her father, the original Robber, “in a twist” has his heart stolen by her mother, Dame Lorraine. As Sugarcane gets older, she shows her feisty personality–instead of being sweet like sugar, she bites like a barracuda. “Mommy would try to fit me in dresses with cute frills, pretty bows, and little top hats. But Miss Dame Lorraine soon realized dat I, Lil’ Miss Sugarcane, would be having none of dat.”

With her parents’ love and acceptance, Sugarcane overcomes the obstacles she faces to become the truest version of herself–the Midnight Robber, who “learned to steal deh hearts of millions, one verse and rhyme at a time.” This includes facing the relatable challenge of bullies. “I’m rough and tough like leather, and dresses ain’t never been my ting,” Sugarcane says. “If bullies want to poke fun at dat, den brace for deh verbal arrows I go sling!” One of this book’s most interesting aspects is its Caribbean dialect, supplemented by a playful glossary, which makes reading it out loud an immersive and exciting cultural experience for kids.

Along with the text, O’Brien’s detailed, expressive illustrations show Sugarcane dancing, dressing in costumes, and playing on a beach with her family, which illuminate the text and will spark young readers’ imaginations. The costumes are especially fascinating, a visual feast of pirates, parasols, playing cards, and ballgowns, often rendered with just the right touch of spooky, whimsical flair. This lively book will also help children and their parents talk about the importance of self-expression and acceptance–and maybe even inspire the creation of a colorful costume or two.

Takeaway: A little girl’s journey to be true to herself amidst the lively backdrop of carnival season in Trinidad.

Great for fans of: Nadia L. Hohn’s Malaika’s Costume, Errol Lloyd’s Nini At Carnival.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: B

Christy Ewers The CAT Agency, Inc.

"It is full of wonderful cultural stories and references, and with the sing-sonny nature of the rhyme and the vernacular, it's really fun to read. Rhyming text can be a tough sell, but I think it works here. I like the headstrong female protagonist, too!! The artwork is BOLD, but then again - so is she! I think it matches the story nicely."

Eva Wilson (SocaMom.com)

"The illustrations go beyond the colorful ones that you expect from a children's book... After each reading, I found new details in the illustrations that told the story outside of the words on the page!"

Formats
Hardcover Details
  • 02/2021
  • 0692984623
  • 48 pages
  • $24.99
Paperback Details
  • 02/2021
  • 978-1735904122
  • 48 pages
  • $14.99

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