Malaika’s Surprise

Malaika’s Surprise

Written by: Hohn, Nadia L.
Illustrated by: Luxbacher, Irene
ages 3 to 7 / grades P to 2

When Malaika finds out she is going to have a new baby brother or sister, she worries that her mother will forget about her. But a surprise arrives on Malaika’s birthday that gives her more reason to celebrate her family’s love.

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. Will Mummy forget about me?

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, and Irene Luxbacher’s colorful collage illustrations.

Key Text Features
glossary
key text features

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.4
Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

When Malaika finds out she is going to have a new baby brother or sister, she worries that her mother will forget about her. But a surprise arrives on Malaika’s birthday that gives her more reason to celebrate her family’s love.

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. Will Mummy forget about me?

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, and Irene Luxbacher’s colorful collage illustrations.

Key Text Features
glossary
key text features

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.4
Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd - Mar 1, 2021
Specifications 32 pages | 10 in x 9 in

Praise for author Nadia L. Hohn and illustrator Irene Luxbacher for Malaika’s Surprise:

Nominee Forest of Reading — Blue Spruce Award, 2022

"[A]n intimate and culturally rich picture book." — Kirkus Reviews

"[A] joyful read." — Huffington Post

"A warm portrayal of a loving, close-knit community." — Horn Book

"[T]his picture book celebrates the expansion of a family we’ve grown to love." — Quill & Quire

"An enjoyable, feel-good read for young children." — School Library Journal

"Malaika’s beautiful interracial family and new friendships make this story a powerful one." — Toronto Star

"Malaika’s Surprise offers a refreshing new sibling narrative … [the] joyful, textured illustrations are busy and inviting, like the other titles in this series, and the blend of English and Caribbean patois makes Malaika’s voice sing." — Canadian Children's Book News

"Much of our lives, like Malaika's, involves change and a newness of circumstances. But what Malaika's Surprise demonstrates is that, though newness and change can be stressful because of the anticipation of the unknown, the reality is often not as bad as expected, especially with the knowledge that others care." — CanLit for LittleCanadians

"Mailaka’s Surprise celebrates culture, friendship and family in a captivating, warm way." — CM Review of Materials

"Hohn’s mastery of the craft command[s] a standing ovation." —Cloud Lake Literary

"Written in a combination of standard English and Caribbean patois, Hohn’s work celebrates family values and acceptance of cultural diversity. Bright and lively illustrations by Irene Luxbacher add to the book’s attraction." — Winnipeg Free Press


Praise for author Nadia L. Hohn and illustrator Irene Luxbacher for Malaika’s Winter Carnival:

“Luxbacher’s stunning mixed-media collage illustrations surround Hohn’s lilting narrative with color, texture, and sensitivity.” — Booklist Online

“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.” — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for author Nadia L. Hohn and illustrator Irene Luxbacher for Malaika’s Costume:

“The text is told in the colloquial voice of the little girl, and readers will quickly and easily feel a part of her circle. Carnival is an important holiday in many cultures, and it’s good to have a picture book to celebrate it.” — Horn Book

“Like a rainbow peacock itself, the illustrations in this book burst with a frenzy of colors and textures.” — Booklist Online

Praise for Irene Luxbacher and Mr. Frank:

Commended USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2015

Commended Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 2015

“Outstanding mixed-media collages and a thoughtful text create a distinctive book that rises far above most tributes to grandparental love … a perfect book.” ­— Kirkus, starred review

Praise for Irene Luxbacher and Deep Underwater:

Finalist Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award, 2018

“Masterful artwork and nuanced verse” — Kirkus, starred review

Audience ages 3 to 7 / grades P to 2
Reading Levels Fountas & Pinnel Text Level N
Guided Reading N
Key Text Features glossary
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.4
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3