Malaika is happy to be reunited with Mummy, but it means moving to Canada, where everything is different. It’s cold in Québec City, no one understands when she talks and Carnival is nothing like the celebration Malaika knows from home!
When Mummy marries Mr. Frédéric, Malaika gets a new sister called Adèle. Her new family is nice, but Malaika misses Grandma. She has to wear a puffy purple coat, learn a new language and get used to calling this new place home. Things come to a head when Mummy and Mr. Frédéric take Malaika and Adèle to a carnival. Malaika is dismayed that there are no colorful costumes and that it’s nothing like Carnival at home in the Caribbean! She is so angry that she kicks over Adèle’s snow castle, but that doesn’t make her feel any better. It takes a video chat with Grandma to help Malaika see the good things about her new home and family.
Nadia L. Hohn’s prose, written in a blend of standard English and Caribbean patois, tells a warm story about the importance of family, especially when adjusting to a new home. Readers of the first Malaika book will want to find out what happens when she moves to Canada, and will enjoy seeing Malaika and her family once again depicted through Irene Luxbacher’s colorful collage illustrations.
Nadia L. Hohn is a writer, musician and educator. The manuscript of Malaika’s Costume, her first picture book, won the Helen Isobel Sissons Canadian Children’s Story Award. She is also the author of two forthcoming non-fiction titles, Music and Media Studies, part of the Sankofa series, which won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Multicultural Non-Fiction. She lives in Toronto, where she teaches French, music and the arts at an alternative elementary school.
Irene Luxbacher is a Canadian artist and author. She has received numerous awards and nominations for many of her children’s books over the years, but her favourite nods of approval come from readers who share the remarkable art they’ve made after reading one of her books. She wrote and illustrated the acclaimed picture books Deep Underwater and Mr. Frank. Irene was also honored to illustrate Malaika’s Costume and its sequel, Malaika’s Winter Carnival, by the talented Nadia L. Hohn. She lives in Toronto with her family who keep her very busy because she loves them and worries about them constantly.
Hohn contrasts Caribbean and Canadian cultures tenderly, with deep understanding of both, and she and Luxbacher have created a sweet, immersive and loving book that will benefit both young new arrivals to a country and those just meeting them. - Kirkus Reviews
Luxbacher’s stunning mixed-media collage illustrations surround Hohn’s lilting narrative with color, texture, and sensitivity. - Booklist
About Malaika’s Costume
"The text is told in the colloquial voice of the little girl, and readers will quickly and easily feel a part of her circle. Carnival is an important holiday in many cultures, and it's good to have a picture book to celebrate it." Horn Book
"Like a rainbow peacock itself, the illustrations in this book burst with a frenzy of colors and textures." Booklist Online
About Mr. Frank (written and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher)
"Outstanding mixed-media collages and a thoughtful text create a distinctive book that rises far above most tributes to grandparental love . . . a perfect book." Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
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