top of page

Celebrate National Mango Day with Sadé Smith!

Hello, readers, writers, and fruit lovers, too! Did you know today is National Mango Day? There's no better way to celebrate the day than with a ripe mango, accompanied with the perfect read. We're thrilled to have Sadé Smith, author of Julie and the Mango Tree, sharing her and Sayada Ramdial's new book coming your way August 8th (pre-order here). Julie and the Mango Tree follows Julie, a young girl, who goes to the big mango tree in her yard to ask for a snack one afternoon. She soon finds the tree won't drop a single sweet treat! Will Julie ever be able to convince the tree to let her have a taste of her favorite treat? Want to know more about Sadé and her new book, PLUS want to hear her advice to budding writers? Read on...

Q: Hi, Sadé! Thanks for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit. We’re thrilled to have you and hear all about you and your new book, Julie and the Mango Tree - how exciting! First, can you share a little about yourself and how you got started in writing for children?

I’ve been writing since I was about seven years old. I always loved to write and illustrate stories to share them with my family and friends. It wasn’t until 2016 that I decided I wanted to be a published author. My sister encouraged me to get my books published because she loved the stories I came up with. That was when I went looking for an agent to have my books published and now I can share my stories with the world. I sometimes get sad that it took me so long to realize that I was destined to be an author, but then I remember that everything happens when it happens for a reason and the timing is just right. It was a long ride but it was worth it.

Q: Julie and the Mango Tree follows Julie who loves all kinds of fruits, but especially mangoes. She tries to convince the mango tree in her backyard to give her a snack, but it proves more challenging than she imagined. This book sounds like such a fun read! Can you share what gave you the idea to write Julie and the Mango Tree?

Like my first book Granny’s Kitchen, coincidentally, Julie and the Mango Tree was inspired by my grandmother. I went to her house one day in the summer of 2019 and she had a huge bag of mangoes. There were so many and I said “Oh, my goodness. That’s so many mangoes!” Then the idea for the story popped right into my head. It was like a lightbulb went off in my brain and I wrote it down in my little turquoise notebook right away so I wouldn’t forget. I also wondered how she was planning to get rid of all the mangoes and I used that for my story as well. I somewhat related the story to The Giving Tree but of course, I gave it a Jamaican style.

Q: Julie tries many ways to convince the mango tree to share a tasty fruit with her. How adorable! Can you share the different ways Julie tries to convince the mango tree to share with her? What can young readers take away from this interaction?

Julie tries to convince the mango tree to share its fruit by singing to it, bribing it and then eventually just asking nicely. This is a wonderful lesson for kids to let them know that sometimes, all they have to do is ask nicely for something and they might get it. Having patience is also very important because sometimes when you wait, you receive even more than you expected. Good things come to those who wait.

We agree - That's such an important message for young readers!

Q: We adore Sayada Ramdial’s illustrations. They are so vibrant and lively, adding a layer of energy and fun to the story. What are some of your favorite spreads from Julie and the Mango Tree and why?

My favourite spread is when Julie is enjoying her many mangoes. She’s just floating in the air with mangoes all around her with big pink hearts to show the love for her delicious snack. Another favourite spread is when Julie is doing cartwheels and dancing around after the mangoes fell and she sees how many she has. It’s the sheer joyous look of pleasure on her face that makes me love those two spreads so much. Mangoes are my favourite fruit and these two spreads remind me of when I see mangoes too!

Q: What other books of yours can we check out ASAP?

My first book Granny’s Kitchen illustrated by Ken Daley is now out and it is such a beautifully illustrated book. The story is so sweet and the little girl in the story, Shelly-Ann, is absolutely adorable. There is a bit of Jamaican Patois and culture shown and told throughout the story to give readers a glimpse of the Jamaican lifestyle. The vibrant colours for the illustrations show what Jamaica looks like in real life along with the settings and animals shown throughout the book. You will feel like you’re in Jamaica when you read it. This book also has very simple recipes in the back so readers can take part in cooking the yummy Jamaican breakfast that Shelly-Ann makes in the story with her grandmother. Granny’s Kitchen was also nominated for the Blue Spruce Award for the 2023 Forest of Reading.

That sounds wonderful! We can't wait to check out your books, Sadé.

Q: Would you like to share a sweet treat with our readers?

Yes - I'd love to share a writing tip! My advice to budding writers and young readers is to keep working on your craft. All the hard work you put in will definitely pay off in the end and it will all be worth it. One day you will look back and remember all the hard work you put in and you will suddenly realize that you deserve everything you worked hard for. Also, be sure to clap for yourself and celebrate your wins, you deserve every good thing that comes to you.

What excellent advice. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Readers, please leave a comment below and thank Sadé for stopping by.

About Sadé Smith:

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Sadé Smith is the Canadian children's book author of Granny's Kitchen and Julie and the Mango Tree. She is of Jamaican descent and her books often involve food and recipes with colorful illustrations to capture the vibrancy and beauty of the Caribbean islands.

In addition to writing, Sadé is also a design technologist who practices the skilled trades of carpentry, flooring and home renovations. She holds a Bachelor of Interior Design (Hons.) Degree and an Advance Diploma in Architectural Technology, as well as a certificate in Creative Book Publishing and a diploma in Business Marketing. She loves the beach and enjoys fruits and when she is not writing, she is off adventuring with her two boys and their dog Ziggy. She is very passionate about literature and she writes books of representation for young readers.

Granny’s Kitchen illustrated by Ken Daley was nominated for the Blue Spruce Award for the Forest of Reading 2023 and shortlisted for the 2023 Crystal Kite Award. Her second book Julie and the Mango Tree illustrated by Sayada Ramdial has been selected for the CBC Books list of 40 Canadian kids books to read in spring 2023 and will be published on August 8, 2023.

For More about Sadé, check out the following links:

Instagram - @stc_smith Twitter - @stc_smith Facebook - Sade Smith Author Website -

To purchase Sadé's books on Amazon, or to leave a review for them, click here.


bottom of page