Camana Bay gets down to the business of entertaining

| 12/11/2008

(CNS): With the first annual Children’s Book Festival taking place over Thanksgiving weekend and local held author Suzy Soto appearing at Books and Books Camana Bay continues to offer free entertainment for all the family. The children’s book festival is in partnership with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust starts at 10:30am on Saturday 29 November.

“We are very excited about the festival which we hope will stimulate a love of books and reading in children and also become a popular international visitor event for the Thanksgiving weekend,” said Susanna De Saram.  

Headlining the event are popular children’s authors, Julia Donaldson, whose picture book The Gruffalo (MacMillan Books for Children) is a favourite amongst pre-schoolers, and Kate Klimo, renowned editor and the author of The

Dragon in the Sock Drawer (Random House Children’s Books). The Children’s Book Festival is a week-long event, beginning with storytelling and crafts at Camana Bay from 10:30am to 3pm on Saturday 29 November followed by the Cayman Islands Cystic Fibrosis Trust Bedtime Story Fun Day at the Dart Family Park on Sunday 30 November from 2-5pm.

Also appearing at the Camana Bay Children’s Book Festival will be local writers such as Eme Paschalides, who wrote a storybook called This is Paradise, Dis is Cayman with her nine year-old son Hector, and Jamaican-born Jane Scaletta, author of Kimbo’s First Horse Show. Drawing on Cayman’s rich culturalheritage of oral storytelling, Nasaria Suckoo and Rita Estavanovich, both regular performers at Cayman’s annual Gimistory festival, will tell folk tales and stories passed down from generation to generation.

‘We want to provide the children of Cayman with an opportunity to hear authors from around the world and to bring books alive for them,’ says Sally Machado, manager of Books & Books at Camana Bay. ‘The festival will also be a wonderful celebration of local talent, giving visitors the chance to experience Caymanian culture at first hand.’

In between stories, kids can take part in a range of activities and crafts outdoors on The Paseo, the town’s pedestrian-only main street. A giant sandpit and games such as ‘Simon Says’ will entertain young tots, while bracelet-making, sidewalk chalking, hopscotch and a water balloon toss are on offer for older kids. Drumming classes and traditional kite making workshops will also be available for creative youngsters to try their hand at.

Volunteers from Maples and Calder, sponsors of the newly-launched Cayman Whistling Duck Book Award, will hold additional readings in the Kids Room at Books & Books as a quiet zone for children who might want to sit and read or listen to stories aimed at different age groups to those in the main event room. The stories read in the Kids Rooms will showcase books nominated for the Whistling Duck awards by authors such as Nick Bruel who visited Cayman for last year’s Bedtime Story Fun Day.

Saturday’s event at Camana Bay is free and open to the public, and is generously sponsored by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Sunshine Suites Resort.

On Sunday 30November, the action moves to the Dart Family Park in George Town where the Cystic

Fibrosis Trust Bedtime Story Fun Day will take place from 2:00pm to 5:00pm An art competition to draw the next Cystic Fibrosis Trust Christmas card, face-painting, a bouncy castle, puppet shows and a barbeque will keep the family entertained all afternoon, while kids will also have the chance to meet costume characters from some of their favourite books. The event is free and open to the public.

Pamela Fowler, the Fundraising and Event Manager of the Cayman Islands Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said the trust was delighted to build on the success of the Bedtime Story Fun Day from the past three years by expanding it into a Children’s Book Festival. “This is a new dimension in fundraising where we can promote something as essential as literacy whilst having fun raising funds at the same time.”

Meanwhile this Monday evening Suzy Soto will be reading from her cookbook called Cookin’ & Laughin’ in the Cayman Islands. After more than 45 years in the restaurant and tourism business, entrepreneur Suzy Soto has added writing to her repertoire. When Soto moved to the Cayman Islands in 1963, with her husband and 3 young daughters, the couple started a very successful hotel called The Tortuga Club in East End. Suzy ran the resort and worked closely with her friend “Cleo” in the kitchen, preparing three meals a day for guests. Through living and working in Grand Cayman, she inevitably developed a passion for island style cooking.
In 1981 Suzy opened what became the locally renowned and world famous Cracked Conch by the Sea restaurant. After a time, there were so many requests from the guests for recipes that she stopped giving them out and instead turned her attention to writing a cookbook. Cookin’ & Laughin’ in the Cayman Islands, is a labor of love. A compilation of recipes and memories, the cookbook is also a celebration of Suzy’s family.

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