A Story About Afiya


This joyous celebration of childhood, culture and place by the late Jamaican poet follows a young girl named Afiya ('health' in Swahili) whose summer frock 'collects' what she sees as she dances across an island in motion. 

Some people have dresses for every occasion, but Afiya only needs one. Her dress captures memories of her childhood, from blossoming roses to flying doves, from tigers in the zoo to falling October leaves. 

This book is recommended for children from the ages of 3 and upwards. 

Poetry; Caribbean; Identity; Childhood; Imagination; Nature; Diversity.


  • A whimsical exploration of a child's imagination, written in verse and gorgeously illustrated.
  • A celebration of Caribbean identity and natural childhood
  • Stories with a diverse protagonist foster empathy and encourage readers to take different perspectives. #WeNeedDiverseBooks
  • James Berry is a multi-award winning Jamaican poet #OwnVoices

Children's book, Paperback

We love it because


LANTANA: "We believe that the importance of reading for pleasure cannot be overstated. A combination of academic research, empirical study and common sense shows that when children identify with books - their settings, themes or characters - they are more likely to enjoy reading them. At Lantana, we’re proud to publish books in which a greater number of children can see themselves reflected, because our books feature characters from under-represented and marginalised groups who are rarely the main characters in stories. This way, we hope to ignite the spark that will grow into a lifelong love of reading."


About the brand

Diverse & inclusive children's books

We are an award-winning children’s book publisher and social enterprise with a mission to publish inclusive books by under-represented voices celebrating every kind of child and family. Because ALL children deserve to see themselves in the books they read.

Our books have been making a splash since day one. They have been reviewed in The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Sunday Times, the Irish News, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

In October 2018, Lantana was selected as one of ten entrepreneurial startups to join OXFO L.E.V8, an intensive mentorship scheme supported by the University of Oxford, designed to nurture high potential ventures. Lantana was the only publishing company to make it onto the programme, besting around 230 other applicants after an extensive interview process, and one of only three businesses with female CEOs.

We are justly proud that our primary printing partner in Hong Kong has won a series of sustainability awards. We print all of our books with non-petroleum based inks on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper to minimise our carbon footprint.