Review: A Likkle Miss Lou

Summary

A biography of Jamaican poet Louise Bennett Coverly’s early life in Jamaica, including how she drew inspiration from the sounds of Jamaican patois and eventually overcame her fear of sharing her poetry with others. The book includes some writing samples by Miss Lou, an extended author’s note covering the life and legacy of the poet, and a glossary of Jamaican patois terms used in the book.  

Review

A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverly Found Her Voice by Nadia L. Hohn is a well-researched, inspiring, and lyrical biography of Jamaican poet Louise Bennett Coverly. It is fitting that Nadia L. Hohn has written this biography of Miss Lou, a woman captivated by the sounds of words, in such a poetic style. The story sends an inspiring message to readers to find courage to share their true selves and lean into what they love. Both Hohn’s use of language and the storyline may encourage some budding poets to emerge in its young readers!

“Louise Bennett loved words. She played with them. She ate them up for breakfast, served with roasted breadfruit, ackee, and saltfish. She swallowed each word whole.”

– Nadia L. Hohn, A Likkle Miss Lou

Eugenie Fernandes’ illustrations are bright, clear, and expressive, and support reading this biography in a group setting for school age children. A Likkle Miss Lou offers many opportunities for educational tie-ins, from Black history to women’s history, from language to geography, from poetry to the craft of biography itself. Miss Lou’s impact as an icon across the Jamaican diaspora makes A Likkle Miss Lou a perfect fit for shelves all over the world, but this title by a Black Canadian author about a Black woman living in Canada is especially vital in Canadian schools and libraries where biographies of Black American figures often dominate children’s non-fiction collections.

About the Author

Nadia L. Hohn is a first generation Canadian, born to parents with Jamaican ancestry. She lives in Toronto. 

About the Illustrator

Eugenie Fernandes grew up in Long Island, NY, and now lives near Peterborough, ON. 

Helpful Links

Behind the Book: A Likkle Miss Lou Author Nadia L. Hohn

Socamom: Book Review: A Likkle Miss Lou

Toronto Star: Miss Lou’s sweet Jamaican patois speaks to a whole new generation

CBC Books: A Likkle Miss Lou

Book Details

Title: A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice

Author: Nadia L. Hohn

Illustrator: Eugenie Fernandes 

Publisher: Owlkids

Year Published: 2019

ISBN: 9781771473507

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