“TO the writing of books, there is no end,” the Good Book tells us. With hundreds of titles in her treasure chest, this affirmation is singularly true of author, Dawn French.
The prolific writer has to have some discipline under her belt. This career civil servant has often confessed that if she was making a fat steady, income on her writing, she would not be in the civil service.
If you asked her, I am sure Miss French would confess that she had role-model readers in her parents. Her home probably was a library of books and that was the bed she slept on. It had to be. How else would she have entered international writing competitions in her adolescent years and won? How else would she have such an avaricious appetite for research?
A love for books and for research is the attitude I think she wants to pass on to Saint Lucia’s children. Hence, I believe her adventure into producing children literature.
Miss French has a series of Peanut tales and every Peanut tale has a lesson, moral and otherwise. That is what I love most about the Peanut tales. Lessons, a lot of saint Lucians should have learnt but haven’t.
Saint Lucians can be very judgmental, especially towards their own. I can relate a lot of stories. This though is about Dawn French or is it about, Sabine Clementine James aka Peanut through home she tells her stories?
I am not sure if I can call miss French a feminist but she sure gives to women issues and equality and so it is no wonder why the main character is female.
Despite her petite form, Peanut drives the point home in Peanut and the Lesson. Peanut and the Lesson is a story on littering, a critical problem for us in St Lucia. The tale allows for the making of inferences and other critical reading skills.
Making judgements, which is among the higher reading skills that can be explored it this book. An underlining intertwine is the family structre; gender roles and sibling rivalry. A social argument is made that in life no one person is more important than the other, no matter their status.
Respect is owed to the janitor as much as it is for the school’s principal. The thing about Caribbean writers in that they write on themes that are relatable to Caribbean audiences. In as must as Miss Dawn achieves that end in her stories, they also have global appeal.
Some of the other titles are quite intriguing like Peanut and the Monster Under the Bed and Peanut and the Defender. Some are adventurous like Peanut and the Forest Walk and Peanut and the Bird.
The Peanut series I see as the medium for making Dawn French a millionaire, with a bit more colour and vivid illustrations and bring down the cost of the book through mass production and global marketing, she can rest easy on her retirement.