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“The themes of immigrant communities, loving and supportive blended families, and finding ways to honor tradition and community shine brilliantly in this picture book….A lovely story that intertwines a girl’s past and present into an honest reflection of her family.”
Kirkus Reviews

Malaika, Carnival Queen

Written by Nadia L. Holm
Illustrated by Irene Luxbacher
Published by Groundwood Books

Malaika learns about her father, who came to Canada as a migrant farm worker when she was just a baby and who shared her love of carnival.

Malaika dreams about a man with a basket of fruit and guesses that the dream is about her father. Mummy explains that her daddy passed away long ago, and Grandma decides it’s time Malaika knew more about her father’s life.

The family drives to a far-off farm where they receive a warm welcome and visit the orchard where Malaika’s father picked fruit. The farm workers tell Malaika that her daddy had always dreamed of celebrating carnival there, just like back home. Will Malaika agree to be their Carnival Queen for the harvest festival?

Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher have created another compelling story about Malaika, who finds a way to cope with her sadness about her father through their shared love of carnival. Includes an author’s note.

Primary ISBN: 9781773068503
Publication Date: May 2023
Available As: Hardcover
Picture Book, Age 04 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Setting: Canada

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Immigrant

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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Creator Conversation

Jamaican Migrant Worker Experiences

Migrant Worker Interview