TRISH Cooke has happy childhood memories of her parents telling her stories from the Caribbean.

The writer, actor and presenter was born in Bradford and her parents were both from Dominica. They were, she says, great storytellers.

"In Bradford, thousands of miles away from the tropical Caribbean island of Dominica, my parents told me stories about sookooyahs and Jab

and characters like the mischievous Compère Lapin (a Caribbean folklore rabbit)," says Trish. "They also told me about real people they remembered too; larger-than-life characters. Carnival songs have been made about some of them."

Now Trish has used these tales to create her own versions - and the result is a new children's book, Tales From the Caribbean, a Puffin Classic collection of stories aimed at eight to 12-year-olds.

The tales come from the many different islands of the Caribbean which, says Trish, is one of the world's richest sources of traditional storytelling.

From the very first Kingfisher to Anansi the Spider Man, these lively tales are filled with humour and pathos, beautifully re-told by Trish.

The book includes additional information and ideas for activities for children to explore the stories further.

"In my version of these tales I have added and taken away some elements to tell the stories in my own way," says Trish. "This is quite common with Caribbean folk tales, as originally the stories were passed down by word of mouth and the storyteller would have added and taken away parts of the story to make it work for a specific audience."

Trish, who grew up in Buttershaw and is the sister of former Bradford City striker Joe Cooke, is best known for her book So Much! which won the 0-5 category of the prestigious Smarties Book Prize, as well as the Kurt Maschler award and was highly commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Her other children’s books include So Much; Full, Full, Full of Love; The Grandad Tree; Catch; No Dinner for Anansi; Hey Crazy Riddle and Look Back!

Also a scriptwriter, Trish was one of the original writers on CBBC show Tweenies (CBBC) and has written plays for stage, radio and television, including EastEnders, Doctors and Emmerdale, and comedy shows The Real McCoy and Get Up Stand Up.

Her stage plays include Back Street Mammy, which was performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse; Running Dream and Gulp Fiction, and

she has written pantomime scripts, including Cinderella, for the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, which received an Olivier award nomination. She is currently writing the theatre’s Christmas show, Rapunzel.

A former presenter on the BBC's PlayDays, Trish has had acting roles in TV's Casualty, EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, and she runs creative writing workshops.

* Tales From the Caribbean, published by Penguin, priced £6.99, will be launched at City Library, Centenary Square, Bradford, on Saturday, August 5 from 2pm - 4pm. Trish will be reading from the book and will also be signing copies.

* For more about Trish and her books visit