________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 31. . . April 21, 2017


Greetings, Leroy.

Itah Sadu. Pictures by Alix Delinois.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2017.
24 pp., hardcover & pdf, $18.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55498-760-3 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55498-761-0 (pdf).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Aileen Wortley.

*** /4



Greetings Leroy. This is my third email to you and I can’t hear from you. Something bad happen to your hand? Is your computer not working? Write back to me, please, please, Leroy. Who won the cricket match? Anyone broke my score in soccer yet? How are the other Roys doing, Iroy, Delroy, Uroy, Stedroy, Buckroy and Royson? Tell them I said hi. Leroy, I want to tell you about my first day of school in Canada. I was so nervous the night before that I hardly slept.


Roy, new to Canada, is homesick for Jamaica and his old friends. But after his first day at his new school, he eagerly emails his best friend back home, telling of his initial apprehension and how the day turned out better than expected. His father is a passionate Bob Marley fan, and so Roy is delighted to receive a button from a neighbour, one carrying the Jamaican hero’s picture. When his new classmates welcome him with a quote from a Marley song, Roy, eager to show the button, realises it is missing. After Roy retraces his steps and locates the button in a very unexpected place, the class enthusiastically gathers round Roy and his button. “It felt like I was with you and all my friends in Jamaica.”

     Anyone who has been a stranger in a new place will identify with the sentiment of this book, although not all will have such a powerful connection as Bob Marley to link their past and present! Apart from being a touching story about new immigrants, Greetings, Leroy also acts as an introduction to a cultural icon for young children. This aspect could have been enriched with an additional summary outlining more about Marley’s life and influence. Sadu’s using the email as a storytelling device is effective and a positive enforcement of creative writing skills.

     Roy is a well-portrayed character, loveable, eager and loyal. He is emotionally open, and his eagerness to reach out to others is evident throughout the story. His dialogue is age appropriate with just an occasional use of Jamaican colloquialisms which is realistic and effective.

     Striking illustrations in acrylic and mixed media reinforce the vibrancy of the story and effectively capture the highs and lows of Roy’s emotions and his eager nature. Each energetic, vigorous picture is full of rich detail that keeps the reader thoroughly absorbed.

     The publisher indicates the book is aimed at children aged 4-7, but the abilities and awareness of Roy suggests that it would also appeal to children up to age 10. Greetings, Leroy is a welcoming and encouraging story for children in a new country.


Aileen Wortley is a retired librarian from Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Next Review | Table of Contents For This Issue -April 21, 2017
CM Home
| Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive