Groundwood Books


Written by Marie-Louise Gay

For readers 4 - 8 years old | Published 2018-80- | ISBN 9781773061382
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emigration & Immigration

Cover of Mustafa

Regular price $19.95 CAD

40 pages | 10.5 in × 8 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book


Marie-Louise Gay

Educator's Guide ↓

Mustafa and his family traveled a long way to reach their new home. Some nights Mustafa dreams about the country he used to live in, and he wakes up not knowing where he is. Then his mother takes him out to the balcony to see the moon — the same moon as in their old country. In the park, Mustafa sees ants and caterpillars and bees — they are the same, too. He encounters a “girl-with-a-cat,” who says something in a language that he can’t understand. He watches an old lady feeding birds and other children playing, but he is always looking in from the outside and he feels that he is invisible. But one day, the girl-with-the-cat beckons to him, and Mustafa begins to become part of his new world.

Marie-Louise Gay’s remarkable ability to write and illustrate from the perspective of a young child is movingly exhibited in this gentle, thoughtful story about coming to feel at home in a new country.

About the Author

Marie-Louise Gay

Marie-Louise Gay is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won two Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Mustafa and Fern and Horn. She lives in Montreal.

Awards and Praise

Praise for Mustafa:

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award Finalist
Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award Finalist
OLA Best Bets
Boston Globe, Best 2018 Books for Children

"A touching story about adjustment, recovery, love, and friendship, told of a boy whose family moves to a new country due to war. . . . An invaluable resource for those working with children from resettled refugee families as well as host communities." — Kirkus, starred review

"Perfectly pitched to help young children explore empathy in a thoughtful, nonthreatening manner." — Booklist

"The story of a young boy moving to an unfamiliar place and finding his way, even when another language is spoken, is one that all children should hear . . . One for the must-be-purchased list." — School Library Journal, starred review

"[T]ouching . . . This nuanced book shows the necessity of friendship for those who carry unseen emotional scars from war." — Horn Book

Praise for Short Stories for Little Monsters:

“Original, inventive, pore-overable, and child-pleasing …” — Horn Book, starred review

“This volume is worth reading multiple times to enjoy the humor and to revisit the witty illustrations and snappy dialogue.” — School Library Journal, starred review

“… funny and unique, graced with the fabulous illustrations by Marie-Louise Gay.” — Youth Services Book Review, starred review

Praise for Any Questions:

“A delightful and interactive step into the world of creating engaging picture books for children.” — Kirkus, starred review

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