It’s Carnival time. The first Carnival since Malaika’s mother moved to Canada to find a good job and provide for Malaika and her grandmother. Her mother promised she would send money for a costume, but when the money doesn’t arrive, will Malaika still be able to dance in the parade?
Disappointed and upset at her grandmother’s hand-me-down costume, Malaika leaves the house, running into Ms. Chin, the tailor, who offers Malaika a bag of scrap fabric. With her grandmother’s help, Malaika creates a patchwork rainbow peacock costume, and dances proudly in the parade.
A heartwarming story about family, community and the celebration of Carnival, Nadia Hohn’s warm and colloquial language and Irene Luxbacher’s vibrant collage-style illustrations make this a strikingly original picture book.
Nadia L. Hohn is a writer, educator, musician and artist. Her first picture book, Malaika’s Costume, won the Helen Isobel Sissons Canadian Children’s Story Award and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Children’s Literature Award. She is also the author of Malaika’s Winter Carnival, A Likkle Miss Lou, Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter and two titles in the Sankofa series, Music and Media Studies. Nadia’s writing is inspired by her childhood memories, Afro-Jamaican heritage, world travels and social issues.
Irene Luxbacher is an artist and author living in Toronto. With more than fifteen years’ experience as an illustrator, Irene has received many awards for her children’s books. She has written and illustrated Deep Underwater (“Masterful artwork and nuanced verse” —Kirkus, starred review) and Mr. Frank, which was selected for the USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor List. Her illustrations for Malaika’s Costume and Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn have also been highly acclaimed, and her illustrations for The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen were shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award.
This is actually a realistic portrait of the consequences of global immigration and economics. But it’s also the story of how much little girls love their moms. Beautiful. - Andrew Kaufman, Globe and Mail
Malaika’s Costume is a highly recommended story that celebrates the different cultures of the world and the emotional journey of a young child. - CM Magazine
A wholly earned celebration. - Kirkus
. . . an engaging, poignant story with exquisite taste and wonderful details. - Kinderlit
A fun choice for libraries seeking books about creativity in general or the Caribbean in particular. - School Library Journal
Like a rainbow peacock itself, the illustrations in this book burst with a frenzy of colors and textures. - Booklist Online
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
Hohn employs a unique style of voice that is both figuratively and literaly lyrical. - Canadian Children's Book News
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