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Yolanda T Marshall

Yolanda T. Marshall

Yolanda T. Marshall is a Guyanese-born Canadian Author. As a cross-genre writer.

The oldest of three girls, she began writing poems at the age of 8 years old. A daughter of a talented Jazz Guitarist, her lyrics manifest into poetry like a genetic code. Poems such as “Serenaded in New York,” “Delia Sings the Blues,” and “Single Rose” flow on a mellow Jazz-like note.

The name of her first book, "Obayifo," originates from the Ashanti tribe. It is the name given to an African Witch. The poem visits the works of Obeah, its people and fears. This poetry book was published in 2008, while Yolanda attended the University of Toronto.

She was inspired to write her second book, a children’s book named "Keman’s First Carnival," after becoming a mom. This 2016 publication is about a young, Black Canadian child’s first experience of Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival. The excited 8-year-old and his Mother enjoyed the rituals at the Caribbean celebration, such as picking a flag to wave, the Caribbean-influenced foods, dancing, costumes, and music.

The Author’s third release, “Messages on Dried Leaves,” is a mild resurrection of the Author’s first poetry book, ‘Obayifo.’ This book is a poetic collection.

A Piece of Black Cake for Santa” was originally published in 2017, and it is the Author’s second Children’s book.  A new edition, illustrated by a South African Illustrator, Subi Bosa, was published in 2019. In 2021, this title was adopted by Chalkboard Publishing. This book demonstrates the holiday experience of Femi and her friends, who planned to leave a few traditional Caribbean treats out for Santa, including Black Cake. The children share warm wishes for their favourite dishes while enjoying winter activities at the Christmas fair.

Miss Marshall’s 2018 release is “Sweet Sorrel Stand.” Rose and Nicolas loved their favourite Caribbean sorrel drink in this children's book. The siblings decided to create a sorrel stand with the assistance of their parents. Their Sweet Sorrel Stand was a success in the neighbourhood. The drink's main ingredient is the Roselle plant (Sorrel), a hibiscus native to West Africa. The red flower buds are boiled, strained, and sweetened with sugar, with a touch of ginger, cinnamon, orange peel and cloves. Once cooled for a couple of hours or overnight, it is served with ice. It is known to be very rich in antioxidants. Traditionally, this drink is served during the Christmas holidays. On a hot summer day, it is a refreshing alternative to lemonade. 

In June 2019, the Author launched "Miles Away In The Caribbean." This children's book is a poetically written story about a Canadian boy named Miles. In his magical spaceship, he visits Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. Miles highlights magnificent landmarks and enjoys his cultural adventures. 

One of CBC's best picture books of 2020 is "My Soca Birthday Party: with Jollof Rice and Steel Pans." As Anne’s birthday drew close, her friends prepared a soca party. Anne loves the sound of Caribbean soca music played on steel pans and West Africa’s spicy jollof rice. Hence, her friends planned to celebrate her special day with a fusion of sounds and traditional dishes from Caribbean and African countries — representing their diverse yet comparable cultures. Anne was in for a real surprise.
The publisher of this title is Chalkboard Publishing, D.E.A.R. Books.

"C is for Carnival" was published on August 1st 2021, by Chalkboard Publishing. D is for dance! E is for emancipation! From A to Z, this is a rhyming alphabet book that celebrates Canada's Caribbean Carnival. This engaging and educational book features a diverse cast of children in vibrant costumes as they 'play mas' while dancing to Soca and Calypso music. A glossary at the end makes it easy for readers, including parents and teachers, to review what they have learned.

"Hot Cross Buns For Everyone" is an inclusive 2022 Easter release. Jackson’s friends and their families bake assorted hot cross buns for his Easter party. Liam’s foster parents use his most memorable Scottish ingredient, and Dimitri’s dad adds Greek mahlepi spice. Some have rainbow colours for all to see and a sweet Jamaican bun and cheese recipe! One by one, the children arrive with hot cross buns for everyone. The publisher of this title is Chalkboard Publishing, D.E.A.R. Books.

"Christmas Elves Being Themselves" is a festive story about elves being their unique and merriest selves: these elves ‘ confidence will encourage readers to celebrate our differences. A curious elf prefers to learn about how families celebrate Christmas worldwide. The busy elf decides to enjoy a beach vacation, while an adventurous elf takes a jolly ride down the chimney. One likes veggies more than cookies. Santa loves them all the same, even when they play naughty pranks. The publisher of this title is Chalkboard Publishing, D.E.A.R. Books. Like many of her other books, this picture book is beautifully illustrated by Daria Lavrova. 

Yolanda T. Marshall is also the author of multiple educational, cultural, diverse and inclusive early readers books by Chalkboard's D.E.A.R. Books Little Readers

A world traveller, a jazz lover and a devoted Mother, she embodies Art and takes her readers on adventurous, cultured journeys. 

This author is Agented.

I write professionally in the following language(s):


My Soca Birthday Party: with Jollof Rice and Steel Pans. 2020, Chalkboard Publishing
C is for Carnival. 2021, Chalkboard Publishing
A Piece of Black Cake for Santa. 2021, Chalkboard Publishing
Hot Cross Buns For Everyone. 2022, Chalkboard Publishing
Christmas Elves Being Themselves. 2022, Chalkboard Publishing
D.E.A.R. Books Little Readers (multiple books). 2022, Chalkboard Publishing


CBC's BEST CANADIAN PICTURE BOOK LIST for My Soca Birthday Party: with Jollof Rice and Steel Pans, 2020
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Equity Initiative

As part of the Union’s Equity Implementation Plan, we are committed to increasing awareness of authors who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability. This author identifies as:

  • Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized