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, 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 employs a unique style of voice that is both figuratively and literaly lyrical.
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.
. . . an engaging, poignant story with exquisite taste and wonderful details.
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.
A wholly earned celebration.
Like a rainbow peacock itself, the illustrations in this book burst with a frenzy of colors and textures.
A fun choice for libraries seeking books about creativity in general or the Caribbean in particular.
Malaika’s Costume is a highly recommended story that celebrates the different cultures of the world and the emotional journey of a young child.