Myiah's Rainbow Dress
by Tammarra Forbes
Trafford Publishing

"Myiah's rainbow dress was a special gift to me. It stood apart from all the other dresses in the world"

Amidst a beautiful island backdrop, a young girl with dark toffee-colored skin, rosy cheeks, and thick plaited hair tells Tammarra Forbes' charming story within an artful blend of history, culture, and well-crafted narrative that ultimately pays lasting tribute to the illustrious Turks & Caicos Islands.

Taking center stage in this tale is a billowy, white, handmade cotton garment, tapered with a colorful trim. In motion, "it spins like a top" to the rhythm of the soft, Caribbean breeze. This is the rainbow dress, gracefully banded with brilliant hues of yellow, red, and orange; pink, turquoise, green, and tan. Each color represents a different element of the Turks & Caicos, or outer islands, and has a symbolic connection to either the sunny climate, the tranquil waters, the beautiful beaches, lush terrain, or the industrious generations, both past and present, of hardworking islanders that made their livelihood as farmers, fishermen, salt rakers, crafters, seamstresses, and weavers.

This true-to-life story serves a twofold purpose in that it is both entertaining as well as educational. It is also an homage to the author's own grandmother—a skilled seamstress, and the real Myiah. The facts and details flow quite easily within the storyline, a characteristic that is perhaps reflective of Forbes' alternate teaching career where she has a penchant for making learning fun. The illustrations by Violeta Honasan are clean and precise, and pair perfectly with Forbes' writing. The vivid colors that play such an integral part in the narrative come alive in the artwork, and provide an enticing visual pop and an additional complimentary texture.

While Myiah's Rainbow Dress is both an enjoyable and informative book for young readers, it also serves justly as an embodiment of the author's own pride and joy by acknowledging her own family ancestry, and the inherent traditions and offerings of her native homeland. Clearly it is a special heritage that the author is happy and anxious to share.

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