Our Story Starts in Africa


A sensitively told and vibrantly illustrated story of Black history from its very ancient origins through to its dynamic future.


ISBN: 9781915569097 Category:

Patrice Lawrence


When Paloma goes to visit her family in Trinidad, she doesn’t feel that she fits in.

But Tante Janet has a story to tell her: An ancient story of warrior queens and talking drums, of treasures and tales that span thousands of years… a story that Paloma shares in, because her story starts in Africa, too…

Join Tante and her inquisitive niece as they share the story of how her family came to the Caribbean, through the dark days of colonization and slavery, to the emergence of a thriving, contemporary community of many faces, places and successes.

This picture book for children 4+ features:
-A sensitive pathway through the long, complex history of colonisation in Africa and the Caribbean
-Authentic, lyrical text from multi award-winning author Patrice Lawrence, who draws on her own Caribbean heritage
-Further resources and reading at the back

This is a sensitively told and vibrantly illustrated story of Black history from its very ancient origins through to its dynamic future, and one which ends with a joyful celebration that provides a message of triumph and pride.

‘A bright, enticing picture book that sensitively explores the legacy of colonisation and the sustained telling of African stories’ – The Guardian

Additional information

Weight 234 g
Dimensions 23.9 x 28 cm
Publisher name Magic Cat Publishing
Publication date 24 May 2024
Number of pages 40
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Illustrated by Jeanetta Gonzales
Dimensions 23.9 x 28 cm
Weight 234 g


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Patrice Lawrence is an award-winning writer. Her debut YA novel, Orangeboy, won the Bookseller YA Prize and the Waterstones Prize for Older Children's Fiction and was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award. Patrice was born in Brighton, raised in an Italian-Trinidadian family in mid-Sussex, and now lives on the South Coast.

Jeanetta Gonzales is a Los Angeles based designer and illustrator. She describes herself as a free-spirited artist who loves nature. For her, the imperfect is beautiful. Using a combination of paint, inks and digital illustration, Jeanetta evokes happiness, energy, inspiration and positivity through her love of drawing plants, women, flowers and lettering phrases.