Books·Canadian

Malaika's Surprise

A picture book by Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher.

Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher

It's summertime, and Malaika and Adèle are enjoying playing carnival in their bright costumes, dancing and laughing in the sunshine. But when Mummy announces that they will soon have a new baby brother or sister, Malaika is unsure how to feel about another change in her family. Back at school, Malaika is excited to see her teacher and classmates, and makes friends with a new girl who has recently arrived from a faraway country, just like Malaika.

Then on her birthday, a surprise arrives to remind Malaika of the importance of family, and the story ends with a celebration of her family's love. Malaika's Surprise is filled with the same warmth and charm as the first two books in the series, with Nadia L. Hohn's enchanting prose, written in a blend of standard English and Caribbean patois (plus words in French and Arabic), and Irene Luxbacher's colorful collage illustrations. (From Groundwood Books)

Malaika's Surprise is a finalist for the 2022 Blue Spruce Awardwhich celebrates picture books for readers in kindergarten to Grade 2.

Nadia L. Hohn is a Toronto author and educator. She was named one of six black Canadian writers to watch in 2018, and won the Helen Isobel Sissons Canadian Children's Story Award in 2016. Her children's fiction blends standard English and Caribbean patois, telling black stories from an often underrepresented point of view. Her past books include Malaika's Winter Carnival and the biographical Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter.  

Irene Luxbacher is an artist and illustrator whose projects include the I Can... series for Kids Can Press. She is also based in Toronto.

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