Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 7
- Grade: p to 2
- Reading age: 3 to 7
When Malaika moves to Canada, there’s a lot to get used to, especially Carnival in the wintertime!
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.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
About the authors
NADIA L. HOHN is a writer and educator. 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 and Malaika’s Surprise, both illustrated by Irene Luxbacher; A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes; Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter, illustrated by Gustavo Mazali; and two titles in the Sankofa series — Music and Media. Nadia’s writing is inspired by her childhood memories, Jamaican heritage, Black culture, world travels, and social issues. She lives in Toronto.
Irene Luxbacher a obtenu son diplôme d'histoire de l'art à l'université Queen's avant d'étudier au Emily Carr College of Art and Design à Vancouver, en Colombie Britannique. En 1994, elle est revenue à Toronto où elle coordonne des expositions d'arts d'enfants en plus d'écrire et d'illustrer des livres dans ce domaine. On lui doit la collection Mes premières oeuvres.
Irene Luxbacher was nominated for the Governor General's Award for her illustrations in Andrew Larsen's The Imaginary Garden and its sequel The Not-So-Faraway Adventure. She has illustrated several other picture books, and her own Deep Underwater, Mattoo, Let’s Play!, and Mr. Frank, as well as eight acclaimed children’s art activity books. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with her husband and young son. You can learn more about her work at ireneluxbacher.com.
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.
Luxbacher’s stunning mixed-media collage illustrations surround Hohn’s lilting narrative with color, texture, and sensitivity.