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New recipe for Codfish tale

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A children's book starring Bermuda's trademark breakfast dish has a new lease of life with new full-colour illustrations.

The Legend of Codfish and Potatoes, written by former MP and community worker Dale Butler, was brushed up by Rhona Pedro, a substitute teacher at CedarBridge Academy.

Now the book, first published ten years ago, has a new look for a fresh generation of youngsters.

Ms Pedro said: “It is a fun and interesting book that everyone must have, especially the youth.

“I was happy to illustrate it and to express emotions through them. I felt so privileged. This is my first book as an illustrator.

“It has been a dream for me to be an illustrator — I have loved drawing since I was 6 years old in grade one.”

Ms Pedro added: “I looked at the original black-and-white illustrations for inspiration but a lot of the new illustrations are a product of my imagination.”

Codfish and potatoes is a Sunday morning tradition in Bermuda — but Mr Butler's book draws inspiration from traditions in Bermuda and abroad.

Mr Butler said: “The first book I only had a small budget and it sold out in a hurry. It was extremely well received by schools and Bermudians as a whole because it dealt with local traditions.

“My writing coach Bobby Christmas in Atlanta put the icing on the cake when she said it was one of the best stories she had ever worked on and so we decided to polish it together.

“When it was first published, schools used it extensively and I think it went over very well.”

He added: “I was lucky to run into Rhona — she did a couple of drawings for me and based on those drawings I gave her the contract to complete the book.

“She did additional drawings which really added to the whole story.”

The book tells the story of Chief Gumba, who has been cursed by an evil witch, and his daughter Christina.

The curse extends to Christina — but a young man named Anthony comes to their rescue and codfish and potatoes plays a big part.

Mr Butler said he had written to schools in the hope that it will be distributed to pupils and help to bridge the gap between generations.

He added: “There is a whole new generation of young people and middle school students who were not likely exposed to it the first time.

“It is a great teaching asset especially with Bermudians asking for more local material. It also talks about what people do elsewhere.

“The book explains some of our games like marbles, tops, jacks and kites and those older activities.

“It gives students the opportunity to compare and contrast what children did then and what children do now. It leads to a nice connection between our young people today and their parents.

“The book seems to have been appreciated by those eight years of age and up — even some high school students rate it.”

The book was launched at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on Saturday and is on sale at bookstores, including Brown and Co and Nubian Bookstore, for $20.

Rhona Pedro
Rhona Pedro and Dale Butler
One of the original illustrations in The Legend of Codfish and Potatoes

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Published November 22, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated November 22, 2017 at 9:32 am)

New recipe for Codfish tale

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