Interweaving myth and a resume of African and Caribbean history with the present day this vibrant story almost leaps off the page.
Man-Man loves to dance and with his sister Pan is practising hard for the upcoming carnival. Aunty Flo is making their costumes and tells them stories of the of the Revel Queen who might steal him away as his costume will be so amazing but these tales are dismissed an Man-man is desperate for his mother to see his performance but she is afflicted with a mystery illness and seems to be wasting away. Their grandmother is summoned from Jamaica to help look after the family. But Nan does not really approve of dancing and thinks wickedness will befall them if they
Man-man’s mother slowly improves with Nan’s home cooking and on the day of the carnival is able to sit on a balcony to watch the procession and see her children dance. Man-man dances as he has never danced before in the hope that he can dance his mother back to health. But the Revel Queen spots the children’s performance and travelling though time whisks them off to Africa to show them the sacred Tree of Memories where Man-man discovers that what is really affecting his mother is the weight and pain of past enslavement enforced on her forbears and if he understands this he might be able to help his mother by showing her freedom through this eyes.
This is a joyous affirmative book – full of colour and the rhythm of the carnival. The exuberant and eye-catching illustrations add to the package magnificently. You cannot help but want to tap your toes too. This story would be an excellent addition to the school library.