I really do feel lucky. I know that this is rare for an author. I thank God for this opportunity and I have been blessed by this experience. 🙏🏾
The fitting song 🎵 you hear is a cover by the #German🇩🇪/#Trinidadian🇹🇹 group Boney M. of the #Tanzanian🇹🇿 song, #Malaika. I learned about the song after the book's publication.
When I first named this character, I pronounced her name Malika (mal-EEKA) which means queen in #Swahili but then switched it to Malaika (mal-AY- ka) eventually learning that means angel.
I think both names suit her. There are even more special connections to this name.
When the late Sheila Barry, former publisher at Groundwood Books, acquired my story, she said she thought it would be big. She was right.
Her story represents resilience, resourcefulness, creativity, community, and family... and reflects diversity and the immigrant experience.
In these images, you will see Malaika with her grandmother and three of her friends, Malcolm, Marcus, and Ravina.
Perhaps the most frequent comment given to Irene Luxbacher’s illustration in all three books of the Malaika series is how gorgeously colourful 😍 they are depicted.
On my two workshop visit and through consultation with regular photo updates, I had a chance to see and comment the different stages in the construction process.
I'm not a professional illustrator but I've always loved to make art (draw, collage, paint, edit videos). Seeing these 3D images up close was amazing and a result of hard work, consultation, teamwork, and creativity. The sculpts are made from Styrofoam and paper mâché, paint, and cloth.
Thank you, Irene, for your art that inspired such a beautiful float. Thanks to everyone who made this float happen.