Amayah Wallace-Anibbonam will read anything, but she especially loves local, non-fiction books.
Last November she started a YouTube channel and a Facebook page, Reading with Amayah, on which she posts videos of herself reading excerpts from books she likes. The seven-year-old student of Curepe Fatima RC has over 260 followers on both platforms.
"I like to read books by local authors. It started with me telling mummy, 'I want to read for the world.' She said I can start Facebook page," Amayah told Newsday Kids.
Her mother Alisha Wallace, who records and edits the videos, said she got the idea during World Read Aloud Day when people like former president Paula-Mae Weekes took the time to do readings at Nalis.
"I just provided the platform, Amayah is the one who engages the audience. The aim is to create positive content on the platforms, to raise awareness to parents and children about local authors, and to encourage people to read. Even when she makes mistakes, I don't edit them out. The idea is to get people comfortable with reading," Alisha said.
Amayah can be seen reading in bed; at church; in the park; at the beach; in the panyard; in the savannah; even at a Children’s Health Fair at the Women’s Hospital in Mt Hope. And she said she always has a book on hand so she can so some reading while waiting to begin her dance, swimming and gymnastics classes.
Among the books from which she has read are Bobby and the Beehive by Miranda Dookran, and The Boys of Sinclair Hill: Fun in the Backyard by Stacey Alfonso-Mills, as well as books on religion, history, cookbooks and comics.
"You can read anywhere and at any time. You don't need a special time or place."
But the videos are not just of her reading. Some of them include footage of her experiences, like a tour of a cocoa estate in Moruga and dancing the cocoa; bathing in a mud volcano; playing pan in the Birdsong Steel Orchestra panyard, in St Augustine where she spends a lot of time with her pan-playing mother. And because people who read a lot tend to be good writers, Amayah is also a songwriter, and has plans to write books.
The standard two student's love for local content is not limited to reading. She once played the role of a yellow bird at a theatre production at Queen's Hall when she was four years old, and she and her schoolmates are practising to sing folk songs for the school's upcoming Republic Day concert.
"I love it. And I love playing the pan and the toc toc as well."
And she has great plans for her future. The aspiring chef, pilot and fashion designer said she enjoys making cakes and wantons, and "I love eating them too. Shrimp is my favourite thing to eat."
Look out for season two of Reading with Amayah on Facebook and You Tube.