PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Last week Friday, the children book week in Curaçao came to a closure. Loekie Morales, was invited as a writer of Sint Maarten to visit several schools to read and tell her winning story ‘Ghosts in the Octagon?’, which appeared in this year’s bilingual ‘Children book Present’ ‘Ban Keiru I discubrí Korsou’/’Reis mee en ondek Curaçao’ (‘Travel along and discover Curaçao’). The book carries 15 winning stories about children experiencing some adventure at touristic attractions in Curaçao. Loekie Morales wrote her story many years ago, and discovered that it fits the criteria set by the National Library of Curaçao (Frank Martinus Arion Library). She sent it and won a prize. Her story to be published in the Children book week of 2019.
All primary schools in Curaçao have gotten some copies of the book. Next to that, there is a song composed that goes along with the book. More or less 30 authors and artists have visited primary schools last week. Morales: ‘Specifically for my story, I’ve created a rap called ‘Let’s visit our Octagon’ and after reading the story, the children could sing and dance the rap, to get acquainted with the Octagon, the strange building in Willemstad with the black glittering roof, where the history of Simon Bolivar lives up to date. I have visited the Octagon, the House of Simon Bolivar’s sister, one of my favorite buildings in Willemstad, prior to the visits to schools. The building is now completely restored as a main monument, ‘The Museo Bolivariano’ and is located in Penstraat on the terrain of the Avila Beach Hotel’.
Morales: ‘The welcome ceremonies at several schools were awesome. You can clearly see that schools have put a lot of effort to receive us. The Franciscus College, the school I am ‘Madrina’ of its library, has received us with a parade of children on their bikes, roll skates and skates, blowing their horns, when we entered the school. That was really amazing and very emotional.’
During the week, several activities were organized by the Biblioteka Nashonal Korsou (BNK) for the writers, like workshops and a social gathering together. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are taking lead in such reading festivals in the Dutch Caribbean.
‘Morales: ‘It is a privilege and a celebration every year again, to participate in this reading festival. Where Reading is seriously taken as a Fundamental part of our existence, I want to be there and play my role in stimulating it’.
Photo: Loekie Morales during Children book week Curaçao.