Kellie Magnus is a Caribbean author/ journalist who, after an eye-opening conversation with her young niece, decided to write and publish children's books relating to Jamaica. Magnus was appalled that there were insufficient Jamaican children's books available to inspire Jamaican children about our culture.
She decided to take action and, later, published her first book, Little Lion Goes To School, which led to a series of Little Lion stories. She now operates the small publishing house JackMandora, and is a specialist in children's literature.
"I live in a vibrant country that is energetic and colourful. We don't put this on page enough for our children. Children in the USA can find books that relate to them, and have so many choices. We do not see that range in Jamaica on the page in a way that Jamaican children can understand," Magnus said. Magnus is the daughter of radio disc jockey Alan Magnus, who has more than 40 years in the business. "I've always wanted to be involved in media and education. I learnt from my father early on that I should only work on the things I really love. It's not hard to find motivation to work on books, because that's what I really love to do," Magnus said.
She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and an MBA in entertainment and media management from Columbia University. She has worked on a series of children's books and parents' manuals that formed part of a multimedia programme, 'Max and Friends' specially designed for children with autism and related developmental disabilities.
Magnus also writes feature articles on Caribbean entertainment and media, and has been published in: The Daily News (New York), The Jamaica Weekly Gleaner (New York), Caribbean Beat (BWIA in-flight magazine), The Caribbean Review of Books (Trinidad) and The Ticket (Trinidad).
Her latest milestone is the publication of A Book For Baby and Trixie Triangle, the first Jamaican-published board books for babies. The first she penned (with art by Rachel Moss), while Trixie is entirely the creation of frequent collaborator Michael Robinson.
She is a member of boards of the Early Childhood Commission, the National Library of Jamaica, and the Book Industry Association of Jamaica.