St. Croix Author Launches First in Series of Children’s Books

St. Croix Author Launches First in Series of Children’s Books


The author of St. Croix Valrica Bryson is creating her memoirs in a series of children’s books. The former U.S. Virgin Islands Director of Cultural Education is focusing her knowledge of cultural education on publishing books for young people.

“Rica & the Tamarind Tree” is the first in an ongoing series to introduce the reader to Bryson’s native Aruba and his childhood on the island of St. Cross while describing the geography, the similarity of the vegetation and the sandy beaches of both. Caribbean islands.

Rica’s siblings join her as they explore and run through pastures and sandy beaches, climb trees and pick delicious fruits, and ride bikes around St. John’s estates. Croix, all on summer days when they don’t go to school. The story is inspired by facts from the life of the young protagonist.

The genuine companionship of the brothers is manifested in their search for tamarinds in this first book in the series. The trio ventures to look for the tree with the sweetest “tamans”, and Rica, in her youthful knowledge of the local fruit, knows that the sweetest is at the top. Everyone is cautious in their climbing, and Rica knows that the higher she goes, the sweeter the fruit.

Book cover Rica & The Tamarindd Tree
(Photo credit: source photo by Elisa McKay)

Bryson’s memoir series is published by Yohance Henley. He collaborated with the authors Julio Petersen III and Howard Peters. Akimo Lionel is the illustrator. Paulina Croskey is the publisher. A book signing for “Rich and the Tamarind” is expected in September 2022 in St. Louis. Cross.

Editor Yohance Henley
(Photo credit courtesy of Yohance Henley)

Henley is the author of four books and has published three. It is the guide of a group of self-published authors who come together to help each other. “Together, we help each other with different tricks, clues, tips, motivation … all that kind of stuff to become an author,” Henley said. When someone is interested in becoming an author, Henley gets the person started with a consultation to see if the commitment is there.

Most people already have the words, Henley said, and with a little work, and with every step forward, in two or three weeks after consulting with him, the book is finished. “Once we’ve reviewed the test copy and fixed the imperfections we don’t like, we have a final copy, and then the book is ready to go.”

This process is only for committed people who want to make a difference and are willing to do so in a writing environment that is the Caribbean, Henley said. “Island Books Group has been meeting for about two years with a core group of six positive, interactive and participating authors who are willing to work, who are willing to put together a series of books so that there can be a lot, a library of active writers who are still alive, who are still with us. “Henley wants to give visibility to the group so that people can see, hear, touch and think … hmm … maybe I can write a book too.

“In their day, the books we read at school were by authors from the Virgin Islands. Or we don’t know them, they are not from the islands … and even if they were, they are not from our islands. They’re not here anymore, ”Henley said.

Julio Petersen III started a “Kid’s Show” in 2020 and began writing a series of stories about Khari’s adventures. The story follows a local Crucian boy and what his life might be like. Petersen published his first book with the help of Bryson in editing the story. Last month, Henley helped him format the book, put it all together, and publish it. “I am very excited that these are stories that are being told and based on the culture of the Virgin Islands and from different points of view. Each story is different. Khari’s adventures are different from Rica’s adventures, which are different “We all have different writing styles and different illustrators, but we’re all helping each other get stories out. We’re all Virgin Islands who publish these stories for kids,” Petersen said.

Bryson wrote and illustrated a book Anansi, also published by Yohance Henley.

The release is scheduled for late summer 2022.

Bryson is a graduate of St. Louis Central High School. Cross. He attended the accelerated program at Xavier University and later transferred to the College of the Virgin Islands in 1982. Bryson earned a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1986, a master’s degree in arts in educational technology in 2004, and a doctorate in philosophy. in Creative Leadership for Innovation and Change in 2019. She is a twenty-year U.S. Army veteran with honorary service.

St. Cross Author Valrica Bryson
(Photo credit courtesy of Valrica Bryson)

Bryson was the author of two books, Crossing Path Framework I and II. She is the producer and executive director of “Sarah and Addie” and “Sarah and Addie 2.0”. The films were made in conjunction with the Virgin Islands Public Broadcasting Station, WTJX. Bryson was the author of two filmmakers and two student workbooks lined up with the films, “which help teachers in their cultural response during their daily teaching and learning.”

Bryson wrote and produced the plays “From Then to Now Celebrating Our History through the Eyes of Our Children,” performed in 2010, and “Revival of Quadrille,” performed in 2011.

Bryson’s membership in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. chapter Mu Gamma Omega extends to the community and its humanitarian services.

“Rica and Her Friends Them” is a series of memoirs describing Bryson’s life as a child, teenager, and young adult who grew up in the Virgin Islands.

Bryson is a resident of Atlanta, GA, and works with the Music and Arts Program teaching all instruments to students in person in the state of Georgia during the school year. He also works for Proximity Learning, a company hired by the VI to teach Virgin Islands history online at the VI. Her students are Charlotte Amalie HS and St. Croix Educational Complex HS.

For more information:

Email Valrica Bryson – culturalguru1@gmail.com

Valrica Bryson website – lulu.com

Facebook – Yohance Henley

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