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Songs in the Shade of the Cashew and Coconut Trees
Songs in the Shade of the Cashew and Coconut Trees

Songs in the Shade of the Cashew and Coconut Trees

Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from West Africa and the Caribbean



52 Pages, 8.25 x 8

Formats: Hardcover Picture Book

Hardcover Picture Book, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $22.95)

Publication Date: October 2019

ISBN 9782924774533

Rights: US, CA, AU, IN & SEA

The Secret Mountain (Oct 2019)

Price: $16.95
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An enchanting collection of traditional songs that pay homage to the rich cultural heritage and multi-lingual communities of West Africa and the Caribbean 

Winner of the 2020 Children's Africana Book Awards (CABA). Songs about children playing in the schoolyard at recess, sisters braiding each other's hair at the beach, and parents dancing late into the night mesh together thanks to the music. A wide array of styles—nursery rhymes from Gabon, lullabies from Cape Verde, and rumbas from the Congo—are all performed exquisitely by men, women, and children in more than a dozen languages. Luminous artwork and homegrown instruments, such as the djembe, the cavaquinho and the Fula flute round off this wonderful celebration of history, language, and culture. Lyrics appear in their original language and translated to English. Also included are extensive notes describing the cultural background of each song, a world map, and a unique code for the digital download of all recordings and a printable file of the book interior.


"A chorus of drums, woodwinds, strings, creoles and indigenous languages will delight the ears at bedtime." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"For this small-size picture book, musical artist Soussana compiles treasured nursery rhymes and lullabies from Caribbean and West African countries. Spreads evoke a sense of place with the title, provenance, and line or two of each song: " 'Gongon'/ Cape Verde/ "To help me sleep, my grandmother tells the story/ of the lovesick mermaid and her fisherman." In corresponding illustrations, Gueyfier's vibrant use of color is transportive, placing readers at an evening dance party in Cameroon or near the turquoise waters of Trinidad and Tobago. The book's latter half includes a map, full lyrics (in both English and the language of origin), as well as information about cultural practices, varying languages and dialects, and the songs' musical and poetic heritage. Accompanying music is included via CD and available for download. A striking and wholehearted celebration of music and heritage."—Publishers Weekly

Author Biography

Following the successful completion of her musical studies that earned her several prizes, Nathalie Soussana wrote and produced the musicals "À l'ombre de l'olivier," "Romances de Paris," and "Silence on tourne," all of which were presented on stage in Paris. She has also been very dedicated to researching traditional songs from around the world featured on various recording projects, including the Parents' Choice Gold Award-winning book-CD Songs from the Garden of Eden—Jewish Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes, published by The Secret Mountain. Guitarist by training, Jean-Christophe Hoarau toured for several years with the Jeunesses Musicales de France, and has performed with artists from all walks of life. He's participated in over one hundred recordings, having worked with several notable French musicians including Richard Galliano, Georges Moustaki and Leny Esudero. He is also the author of a guide on Brazilian guitar that was published after spending three years as a teacher in Latin America. He has been awarded many times the prestigious Grand Prix Charles-Cros in France. After studying design in Paris at the Duperré School and illustration in Strasbourg at the Arts Déco School, Julie Gueyfier began creating children's books. Over the past 15 years, she has produced no less than 30 picture books for several well-established publishing houses in France, including Rue du Monde, Le Seuil, Sarbacane, Milan and Nathan. In 2014, Barefoot Books published Chandra's Magic Light in the US.