Wednesday, April 3, 2024

IWSG and Jerk Chicken Magic by Noel-Andrew Bennett and Roxanne Bennett

Happy IWSG day! This group is definitely worth celebrating. Starting as the brainchild of the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh, this support group for writers has transformed from a monthly blog hop to a true platform, where many just as amazing writers gather and exchange thoughts, worries, ideas, support, encouragement, and more. We still meet the first Wednesday of every month, though, the group can be now found in many other settings. 

Special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts: Janet Alcorn, T. Powell Coltrin, Natalie Aguirre, and Pat Garcia!

And yes, I'm a bit late in posting this. I put today's read post together, went to bed, and realized....oh my! It's IWSG again!

Anyway, I don't have a whole lot to say on the writing front, so I'm going to peek at the monthly question instead.

How long have you been blogging? (Or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?) What do you like about it and how has it changed?

Hmmm....honestly, I'm not sure. Fifteen years? Has it been twenty already? I switched site locations somewhere during the time, so I really have no idea. I've been on Twitter since 2011, but I was blogging before that. 

As to the changes...hmmm...Twitter is an obvious change thanks to X. Blogging has changed on many fronts too. For one, it's not as popular as it was when I first started. At that time, everyone blogged. Now, not as much. My own blog has gone from a all-over-the-place review, writer types, writer reach-out, I-had-no-clue-what-I-was-doing to Bookworm for Kids. And even that has changed from a post of some sort on kidlit a few times a week to a daily review. Every day. 

I don't have nearly the same closeness I did to other writers anymore, which is too bad. I'm not sure if that's due to the blogging changes or my own life changes. Probably a bit of both.

So how long have you been doing this? What have your experiences been?


by Noel-Andrew Bennett &
Roxanne Bennett
Coconut Milk
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

A love letter to immigrant families everywhere!

Jerk Chicken Magic is a heartwarming story of a multi-generational immigrant family (The Higgins), through the eyes of a charming 6-year-old girl named, Lizzy — as she explores the culinary magic of Jamaica's most famous cultural export, jerk chicken. In awe of her Mom, Lizzy learns about the history of jerk chicken, how to make it, and the magic the dish brings to her whole family. This book celebrates themes of resilience, adaptability, and the importance of preserving generational recipes and cultural traditions.

Jerk Chicken Magic is the debut children’s picture book from husband and wife duo Noel-Andrew and Roxanne Bennett. This tasty story redefines immigrant storytelling and is the perfect gift for kids on any occasion.



Every page shines with energy and good feelings, and will have readers wanting to try jerk chicken themselves.

This is a brightly illustrated picture book, which lets the fun flow the entire way through. It centers around a young girl, whose mother has not only continued to treasure their Jamaican heritage but makes the most amazing jerk chicken. While the food's history and creation are touched upon, this book goes beyond that. It's the wholesome goodness behind the family, which sticks together, and makes this book shine.

The scenes have a realistic touch, which invites in with familiar details and tons of emotions. The text flows right along, guiding each scene and adding to the atmosphere. It makes a lovely read-aloud even for more impatient listeners. The culture comes through, while still staying very set in a daily life readers will recognize. The excitement from each and every character adds positivity and makes it clear how much they care for one another. 

To round everything off, the authors have included a jerk chicken recipe at the end. I haven't given this a go, yet, but am looking forward to trying it out because after reading this, it's hard not to want to dive in and enjoy the dish, too.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Jerek Chicken Magic sounds like a cute picture book. I don't know anything about the dish.

I agree with you that blogging has changed over the years. It used to be more fun. I'm still grateful for the writer friends I've made through blogging. And I admire you for posting so many reviews week after week. It's a lot of work.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Tonja! I felt sad when I read that you don't have the same closeness with other writers anymore. You're a great writer! I know that the busyness and challenges of life hold me back from all I'd like to accomplish in writing. But I've kept posting for or five times a month, because of the friendship and support I have from blogging. It keeps me sane and going! Have a great April!