We Are Carnival! – a reading list

Display of books about Carnival

As our Black History Month events this year are on the theme of Carnival, we would like to share some reading suggestions on that theme from our library. These include recommendations from educator and historian Linford Sweeney, whose workshops on Carnival are part of our BHM programme, as well as some other books which are new on our shelves. Why not drop in to the library and take a look?


The Trinidad Carnival: Not Just Carnival in Trinidad, by Clyde A. Weatherhead (CU.3.07/WEA) – On Linford’s list. New.
This book is about the phenomenon proclaimed the Greatest Show on Earth – The Trinidad Carnival.

Carnival: a photographic and testimonial history of the Notting Hill Carnival (CU.3.01/CAR)
Tells and illustrates the story of how this carnival came to be and how it grew. On Linford’s list

An Understanding of the Trinidad Carnival, by Johnny Coomansingh (CU.3.07/COO) – On Linford’s list. New
The Trinidad Carnival is world-renowned. In light of this, the research for this book focuses on the borrowed cultural elements that give to the celebration its uniqueness

High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture (CU.3.07/BRO) – New
Explores Caribbean identity through photography, criticism, and personal narrative. 

Leeds West Indian Carnival 2014: a photo collection (CU.3.01/ROM)

Black Joy, by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (CU.4.01/BRI) – New
Bringing together the most exciting Black British voices today, ‘Black Joy’ is an extraordinary anthology that celebrates everything that is brilliant and beautiful about being Black British.

Erotic Islands: Art and Activism in the Queer Caribbean, Lyndon Kamaal (GE.2.03/GIL) – New
This transdisciplinary book foregrounds the queer histories of Carnival, calypso, and HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Still Jamming at Fifty: Leeds Carnival 50 Anniversary Photo Book (CU.3.01/ROM)

Rampage: in pursuit of carnival excellence. (CU.3.01/NIN) This book reveals the story of Rampage Mas Band and its success as a carnival touring group.

On Route (CU.3.01/NIN)
A book about carnivals in the UK, concentrating on those of Caribbean origin, which looks at its origin and development and how it has evolved as a contemporary art form.


Nini at Carnival, by Errol Lloyd (CU.3.01/LLO – picture book box)
Nini wants to wear something special at the carnival, but unlike the other children she doesn’t have a costume. Then suddenly a mysterious “fairy godmother” appears, making Nini Queen of the Carnival.

Jump Up! A Story of Carnival, by Ken Wilson-Max (AR.2.06/WIL) – New
Tells the story of Cecille, a young black girl living in the Caribbean, and how her community develops their very own Carnival, based on their long-remembered African traditions.

To Carnival! A Celebration in Saint Lucia, by Baptiste Paul (AR.2.06/PAU) – On Linford’s list. New
The sights, sounds and tastes of vibrant Saint Lucia come to life in this cumulative tale of a girl’s journey to Carnival

Trini Carnival, by June Farinha (AR.2.06/FAR) – On Linford’s list. New
Illustrated introduction to the history and tradtions of Trinidad Carnival

Malaika’s Costume, by Nadia L. Hohn (AR.2.06/HOH) – New
Malaika’s mother can’t buy her a carnival costume — will she still be able to dance in the parade?