Looking for a Jumbie

Looking for a Jumbie
Written by Tracey Baptiste
Illustrated by Amber Ren
Published 2021

Naya’s mama says there are no such things as Jumbies, so at night Naya goes looking for one. In the dark woods, shadowy figures appear but instead of being scary, they decide to go along with Naya’s plan to find a real Jumbie.

Looking for a Jumbie is reminiscent of the classics Going on a Bear Hunt and Where the Wild Things Are but also completely unique. The language flows and rolls and the use of repetition makes it an extra fun re-read for kids.

The art does a fantastic job of bringing out the just right level of spookiness for little listeners. The shadowy figures who answer Naya’s questions are resolved upon the page turn to be creatures who want to have a good adventure themselves. Also impressive is how the book takes place almost entirely at night, and the art conveys that darkness well, but the colors are rich and bright – giving the whole forest a beautifully full-moon like glow to it.

In addition to being a great story time book, the authors note at the beginning help set the stage and can make for a launching off point for an older child to begin learning about Caribbean folk tales.

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