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by (author) Shauntay Grant

illustrated by Susan Tooke

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
May 2008
General, Stories in Verse, Cultural Heritage
Recommended Age
4 to 8
Recommended Grade
p to 3
Recommended Reading age
3 to 10
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2011
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2023
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2008
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


A positive, heartwarming portrayal of North Preston past and present. This touching poem from spoken-word artist, poet and CBC Radio personality Shauntay Grant portrays the Nova Scotian community of Preston. Short, staccato lines, musicality and the use of real, spoken language, and Susan Tooke's breathtaking illustrations using real models from the community, combine in a sensory experience that is sure to wow readers of all ages. Grant's memories of growing up reflect a magical place where landscape, food, history and, most of all, people come together in a community filled with love and beauty. A powerful story with positive images of one of Nova Scotia's most important black communities.

About the authors

Shauntay Grant is a poet, playwright, interdisciplinary artist, and children’s author who lives and works in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki (Halifax, Nova Scotia). A former poet laureate for the City of Halifax, she “creates artworks that are engaging and accessible, but also challenging, rigorous, and informed by deep research” (Royal Society of Canada). Her play The Bridge (Playwrights Canada Press) premiered at Neptune Theatre’s Fountain Hall, a co-production between 2b theatre company and Neptune in association with Obsidian Theatre Company. Set in a rural Black Nova Scotian community, this multilayered story of a family torn apart by betrayal received eleven Robert Merritt Award nominations, winning four, including for Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian. Grant’s first stage play Steal Away Home won the Jury Award for Outstanding Drama at the Atlantic Fringe Festival. Her other plays include KK (Boca Del Lupo, Red Phone project), Passing (Eastern Front Theatre, Micro Digitals project), and the ten-minute monodrama Beyere (Obsidian Theatre Company, 21 Black Futures project). An associate professor of creative writing at Dalhousie University, Grant holds professional degrees in creative writing, music, and journalism. Her theatrical work for young audiences has toured with Neptune Theatre’s Tour Company, and she has been commissioned by Against the Grain Theatre to write the text/poetry for Identity: A Song Cycle. She is the editor of the anthology From the Ashes: Six Solo Plays (Playwrights Canada Press) which collects groundbreaking solo plays by Black Canadian women and womxn. Her first solo stage play is in development with 2b theatre company. Grant is the author of several books for children including My Fade Is Fresh (Penguin), When I Wrap My Hair (HarperCollins), and Africville (Groundwood), which won a Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Her other honours include an Established Artist Recognition Award from Arts Nova Scotia, a Poet of Honour prize from Spoken Word Canada, a Joseph S. Stauffer prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, and Arts Nova Scotia’s inaugural Black Artist Recognition Award.

Shauntay Grant's profile page

Born in New Jersey, Susan received her professional training from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia and the New School in New York. She moved to Canada in 1980, and has made Halifax, Nova Scotia her home. Working predominantly as a painter, Susan illustrated her first book in 2000, and has received the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, and the Mayor’s Award for Brave Jack and the Unicorn. Her work is consistently chosen by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre as a starred selection for the Our Choice Award. In describing her artwork, Susan states: "I breathe real life into my images—the sounds, smells, colors, and idiosyncrasies of specific places and the people who inhabit them."

Susan Tooke's profile page


  • Winner, APMA Best Book Award
  • Winner, Lillian Shepherd Award
  • Short-listed, Shortlisted for Hackmatack
  • Short-listed, Atlantic Book Awards, Best Atlantic Published Book Award

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Other titles by Susan Tooke

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