RI­LEY CAN BE ANY­THING

The Star (St. Lucia) - - BOOK REVIEW - By Clau­dia Elei­box – by Dav­ina Hamil­ton

Dav­ina Hamil­ton is rooted in beau­ti­ful Ja­maica. Both her par­ents were born and raised on the is­land but Dav­ina lives in the United King­dom. For over fif­teen years she has prided her­self in her writ­ing and jour­nal­ism and has thus far cre­ated an im­pres­sive port­fo­lio. Dav­ina is known es­pe­cially for be­ing the for­mer arts and en­ter­tain­ment edi­tor of the UK Voice news­pa­per and for her ex­pe­ri­ence in ra­dio broad­cast­ing with pop­u­lar Bri­tish sta­tions. Her work has pro­vided ex­ten­sive in­for­ma­tion about in­ter­na­tional arts, cul­ture and en­ter­tain­ment. Now she has a new badge to add to her sash: Dav­ina has be­come a free­lance writer and jour­nal­ist and re­cently cre­ated her first chil­dren's book.

'Ri­ley Can Be Any­thing' made its de­but on davina­hamil­ton.com and Ama­zon in March of this year. Dav­ina had many in­spi­ra­tions for delv­ing into a genre of writ­ing dif­fer­ent from her norm, the big­gest, ob­vi­ously, be­ing her chil­dren. The main char­ac­ter of the book, Ri­ley, is named af­ter her son.

This imag­i­na­tive pro­tag­o­nist dis­cusses with his big cousin Joe the many op­por­tu­ni­ties that lie in his fu­ture. Young Ri­ley can­not im­me­di­ately de­cide what pro­fes­sion or field he would like to pur­sue so he asks cousin Joe to help. To­gether they come up with many ideas rang­ing from play­ing in a jazz band to be­com­ing a physi­cian, all of which Ri­ley has liv­ing ex­am­ples of, in­clud­ing his un­cles and grand­fa­ther.

Ri­ley's cousin gives him plenty to think about so that when Ri­ley goes to school, al­though he's still un­sure of what to choose in the mo­ment, he knows that he can be any­thing!

'Ri­ley Can Be Any­thing' is pop­u­lated with black char­ac­ters for a pur­pose­ful rea­son. Through­out her years in the en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness and with the ex­pe­ri­ence she's had with her own chil­dren, Dav­ina no­ticed that not many sto­ry­books con­tained strictly black char­ac­ters. Want­ing to make her small dif­fer­ence to chil­dren's lit­er­a­ture, she cre­ated a sto­ry­line with a black fam­ily.

The rhythm of the book is def­i­nitely catchy and can eas­ily get kids on board with its rhyme. Dav­ina also meant for it to be in­spi­ra­tional to kids, re­mind­ing them as they read that they could truly de­cide to be any­thing they want. The au­thor does this with­out pres­sur­ing them to choose some­thing at once but, in­stead, fol­low their pas­sion.

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