A Story About Afiya

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 2   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Every day, Afiya wakes to a brand new day and a clean white dress, ready for her adventures to begin…

Some people have dresses for every occasion but Afiya needs only one. Her dress records the memories of her childhood, from roses in bloom to pigeons in flight, from tigers at the zoo to October leaves falling. A joyful celebration of a young girl’s childhood, written by the late Coretta Scott King Book Award-winning Jamaican poet James Berry.

WINNER of the Northern Lights Book Awards Picture Book of the Year. USBBY Outstanding International Book 2021. New York Times, 25 Best Children’s Books of 2020. A Guardian Children’s Book of the Month.

“A joyous celebration of childhood, culture and place”—The New York Times, 25 Best Children’s Books of 2020

“A unique and beautiful combination of poetic story and expressive art”—Kirkus Reviews

“An exquisite celebration of the simple magic of childhood”—Shelf Awareness

“Gorgeous”—School Library Journal

“A book to treasure”—Books for Keeps, 5 STARS

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Nonfiction, Picture Books, Social Studies
Category Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity
Copyright 2020
Publisher Lantana Publishing
Imprint Lantana Publishing
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2020-04-07
Text Type Poetry
BISACS JNF038050, JNF042000, JNF069000
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 9 x 9.75
Lexile 670
Features Awards, Original artwork, and Reviewed


  • Kate Greenaway Medal Nominee, Nominated, 2022
  • 2021 USBBY Outstanding International Book, Winner, 2021
  • White Ravens 2021 List, Winner, 2021


The New York Times Book Review

“[A] joyous celebration of childhood, culture and place . . . "—The New York Times

The New York Times

" [A] joyous celebration of childhood, culture and place. . ."—The New York Times

Shelf Awareness

“James Berry’s ‘A Story About Afiya’ makes its debut in this visually spectacular edition illustrated by Brazilian artist Anna Cunha.”—Shelf Awareness

Kirkus Reviews

“A unique and beautiful combination of poetic story and expressive art.”—Kirkus Reviews

Author: James Berry

James Berry was a celebrated Jamaican poet, living in the UK. James received a Coretta Scott King Book Award and the Smarties Grand Prix, and was awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to poetry. He passed away in 2017.

Illustrator: Anna Cunha

Anna Cunha is an award-winning Brazilian artist who has illustrated more than 20 books. Her work has been shortlisted for the Jabuti Prize and received a Joao-de-Barro Prize honorable mention.