top of page

Author Interview with Leonie Althea

An enchanting Jamaican children's story about friendship and kindness, Leonie Althea's debut book, How Rice Met Peas, captures the essence of friendship and kindness in its memorable rhymes and story. This book aims to teach children that kindness matters and that we are all unique in our own way. Children and the kid in all of us can connect to the fun-loving Rice and Peas characters that show, although they are different, they can love, respect, and enjoy having fun with each other.

The book is both an ambassador for Jamaican food, music and culture, and a loving tribute to Leonie's grandmother, who introduced her to the classic Jamaican rice and peas dish.

Leonie is a Jamaican-American writer and indie publisher. She was born in the Spanish Town of Catherine, where she attended St Jago High School. Growing up, Leonie loved watching Jamaican programs like Lime Tree Lane and Hill an' Gully Ride, which helped spark her imagination.

Continue reading for an exclusive interview.

Tell us about your background

I was born and raised in Jamaica and grew up hearing folk stories and watching cultural programs that sparked my imagination and love of writing rhymes. My talent with words led me to a career in advertising and marketing communications where I honed my skills in merging words with art.

How would you describe your new book?

How Rice Met Peas is a children’s adventure story for kids ages 6-10 that tells the fictional origins of how rice and peas became a traditional Jamaican dish. It’s a unique and playful story that celebrates Jamaican culture using poetic rhymes and a reggae music theme to illustrate Rice and Peas’ journey to becoming best friends as they learn to love, respect, and enjoy having fun with each other.

Is this your first book?

Yes it is!

What was your impetus for writing "How Rice Met Peas?"

I wanted to write a children’s book that showcased a unique spin on a traditional Jamaican dish using catchy rhymes readers can connect with and that infused reggae music, which is beloved across the world.

What surprised you most about writing the book?

The message of the story is to inspire children and adults alike to be polite, kind, and nice despite our differences. Rice and Peas come from different backgrounds but they learn to love and accept each other and become best friends.

Do you plan on writing a sequel?

Yes. I plan on writing a sequel to How Rice Met Peas.

For more information please visit:


bottom of page