Did you have a favourite book growing up? A story that you read or had read to you when you were small? Mt. A alum Barine Ngbor has published a book that is sure to become the favourite of many children.
The book was officially launched at a university event last week where she spoke about the book’s release, her process, and offered signed copies for sale.
The book in question is called I See Colour: The Amazing Life of Bolu Davis, published by Monster House Publishing. It is a sweet and colourful story that celebrates the diversity of the people around us. In fact, one of Ngbor’s favourite parts of writing the book was being able to talk about different hairstyles! The title of the book is a challenge to the old saying, “I don’t see colour,” pushing instead for its young audience to see and celebrate the differences in those around them and how important culture is for identity.
Ngbor said that the inspiration for her work was; “To be honest, a past version of me…I wanted a book that younger me would see and love, a colourful book that was educative and nice.” Along with that inspiration, she said the book was built around the concept that kids are not extensions of their parents, even though society has a tendency to treat them as such. The book aims to provide something both fun and educational.
During the presentation, she described her experiences moving from Nigeria to Canada and her time at Mt. A. One instance of cultural differences she experienced was when she tried Timbits for the first time and noted their remarkable similarity to a Nigerian pastry called Puff Puff. In keeping with her book’s idea of cultural exchange, the snacks for this event included some Puff Puff so the audience could compare them. In my opinion, the homemade Puff Puff covered in chocolate were far superior.
During her presentation, Ngbor spoke fondly of her time at Mt. A. In particular, she noted how her classes under Dr. Geordie Miller encouraged her work.
In terms of her experience with writing the book, she said that her “favourite part of the process was seeing me done at the end” and that she struggled a bit with her procrastination, which she combated by setting out fixed times to write. The project took her two years, but she noted that, “doubts will come but never let it linger on too long, […] you have to be your number one push person.”
Readers of the Argosy can purchase I See Colour: The Amazing Life of Bolu Davis at Tidewater Books, Indigo, Walmart, or online from Monster Publishing House.
Correction: The author’s name is Barine Ngbor. A previous version of this article misspelled her name as Barine Angkor.