mala“The Caribbean and Canada; a daughter separated from her mother; the dream of a beautiful dress to show off for Carnival. This is the story beautifully recounted in Malaika’s Costume.” — CM Magazine

Malaika’s Costume is a vibrant celebration of life against the odds. A young girl — whose mother is working hard to establish a new life for her family thousands of miles away– feels despondent about preparing for the biggest celebration in her community: Carnival.

Malaika’s mother promises to send her money to buy a brand new dress for the occasion, but the money, international wire transfers be damned, doesn’t arrive in time, and Malaika must make due with what she has. At first she decides to forgo the celebration, but with the help of her neighbours and family she crafts something much more beautiful than can be bought at a store.

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“A wholly earned celebration.” — Kirkus Review

Nadia Hohn’s warm and colloquial language and Irene Luxbacher’s vibrant collage-style illustrations make this a strikingly original picture book. It’s the first for Hohn, but readers may remember Luxbacher from 2014’s tenderhearted stroll down memory lane, Mr. Frank.

The final pages show Malaika, bright and beaming as she dance, dance, dances her way down the streets–proud as a peacock with an outfit to match. It is a real portrait of creativity and making the most out of what you’ve got. A bonus panel reveals Malaika’s mother holding a photo of her brightly plumed daughter in her urban apartment– a treat for parents and a hint of what is to happen in Malaika’s next book this fall.

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Malaika’s Costume is launching tomorrow, March 5th at A Different Booklist (746 Bathurst Street) from 2-4 pm. 


Malaika’s Costume

written by Nadia L. Holm & illustrated by Irene Luxbacher


Hardcover with jacket | $18.95 | Available Now

Groundwood Books

Juvenile Fiction/ Holidays & Festivals/ General

Juvenile Fiction/ People & Places/ Caribbean & Latin America

Order from the University of Toronto


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