Illustrated by Fuuji Takashi
For ages 9+
About the book
🌱Firstly, it’s VERY important for me to let you know that every bit of PRAISE you read or or hear about this book is ABSOLUTELY 100% TRUE! GM Linton is a truly exciting debut author, her writing filled with charm, wit and soul. Paying homage to her parents of Jamaican origin, she wanted to honour their legacy and knack for storytelling in a book for children that respects the experience of the Windrush generation and reflects how they are remembered and celebrated in our time.
🌱Sunshine (and there’s a funny tale in the book about how she came into the world waiting for you by the way) is a school girl whose sense of self is fractured every time there’s an unkind word, an expectation placed on her. She binds all her insecurities up in her funny/silly take on things that when you read her innocent misconceptions you laugh out loud. New girl at school, Evie, seemed like such a good friend, but now she’s settled in she’s really becoming unbearable with her Miss Perfect holidays at Lake Como spotting Hollywood stars, her massive house, best phone, and big “brilliant” life. Every time Evie talks to Sunshine or “Silly Sunny” as she’s nicknamed her, it makes the reader squirm and wish they were there to stick up for Sunshine!!
🌱A special assembly for 50 years Golden Jubilee of Sunshine’s primary school is to take place this Summer term, but what is Sunshine’s “X”, her something that is important to her to share with audience? Sunshine’s Grandad Bobby, who lives with them, came over from Jamaica in the 1950s on the Arosa Star ship to help “the mother country” (England) to recover after WWII, like so many, and became a bus driver. Grandad is so very special to Sunshine. He’s also a big star in the community, and with the other school kids.
🌱GM Linton vitally infuses the narrative with important messages around embracing one’s own brown skin, afro hair, history (including Black heroes like Katherine Johnson, Malcom X, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Mary Seacole and more), and culture whilst highlighting to non-Black readers examples of inappropriate actions and words. Black children must feel validated and empowered to speak up for themselves and to know when to say out loud it’s just not okay, e.g. another kid touching their hair out of curiosity. Fuuji Takashi’s style is absolutely perfect for this book with many illustrations throughout.
🌱As the reader moves through the everyday events of Sunshine’s school dramas there is a subtle sub-plot developing as Grandad starts to feel more tired, and at 82 years old he’s not the body builder he once was, then he needs more naps, can’t do the school run, starts to get thin… this chirpy fellow who still has so much wisdom and knowledge to impart whether reassurance about “life’s twists and turns”, teaching that “it’s good to celebrate and learn from difference” or “if you spit in the sky, it has a tendency to fall back in your face” and more. Eventually, in her grief Sunshine finds her “X” for a truly heartfelt ending to the story. A summer term to remember!!
🌱This is such an incredible story - a must read!! Miss Peach, Sunshine’s teacher would not approve of my enthusiasm for exclamation marks, that’s for sure!! 75 years of #Windrush anniversary is Thursday 22nd June!! As Granddad Bobby says, Caribbean people “have been a part of Britain’s past for many centuries, and we are a part of Britain’s future”.
Download FREE Teaching Resources
© Usborne Publishing Ltd, 2023 + Illustrations by Fuuji Takashi
Friendship Ups & Downs
Sunshine & Grandad
The Windrush Generation
Book Cover Prompts
About the creators
G.M. Linton (author)
G.M. Linton lives with her family in the West Midlands and can often be found happily snacking on stuffed green olives or hunting out a slice of cake. She enjoys nothing better than snatching time to read a good book and losing herself whilst imagining characters and storylines. The Sunshine Simpson series is particularly inspired by G.M.'s parents, who arrived in Britain, from Jamaica, as part of the Windrush generation, in the 1950s. (Source: Usborne Books)
'A Place Called "Home" - A Windrush Biography by G.M. Linton' https://www.windrush75.org/news/a-place-called-home-a-windrush-biography-by-g-m-linton
Fuuji Takashi (illustrator)
Fuuji Takashi is a children’s book illustrator and character designer from the Philippines. She is best known for illustrating Kailyn Lowry’s first children’s book, Love is Bubblegum. She is also noted for her works on children’s books featuring divaerse characters. For her works in international publications, Fuuji has been featured in the local news in the Philippines. Her illustrations have been published in both digital media and print around the world. Fuuji’s love for art justified her shift of career from a professional nurse to an artist. While she considers nursing a noble job, nothing fulfills her more than being able to create and bring joy to people through her art. Her greatest creative influences are Ghibli and Disney films. In her spare time, she likes singing, cooking and taking long peaceful walks. (Source: astound)
death of a grandparent
Black Lives Matter
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Publication date: 11 May 2023
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*reviewed from proof via advance reading copy provided by the publisher
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