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Malaika’s Winter Carnival: 06/12/18

Malaika’s Winter Carnival

Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher (illustrator) is a follow up to Malaika’s Costume. Malaika is reunited with her mother but now she has to leave her extended family and her island home to move with Mummy and her new husband to Canada.

Malaika is now living in the far away, cold city of Québec, quite the difference from the warm sea, trade winds and palm trees. She has to learn how to bundle up with layers and layers of clothes in the winter, how to navigate in the snow, and all sorts of new traditions and customs.

Besides having a new stepfather, she also has a new stepsister, a girl named Adèle. They are nice but they aren't anything like the family she will be missing.

The culmination of things for Malaika is the promise of the Winter Carnival. She is thinking like the colorful event just before Lent but this is held during the winter — the dark snowy days. There is none of the music and pageantry she has been expecting. Frankly, it's disappointing.

Finally though, Adèle and her father help Malaika see how the Winter Carnival is special to them and she gets to learn how to make it special (but still different) for herself.

For me I found the story of the move and the culture shock of the tropical Caribbean with Québec the most compelling piece of this picture book. I've been through a move and the remarriage of my mother — but not as far as what Malaika had to experience.

I hope there's a third book to see how Malaika is settling in.

Four stars

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