September 25, 2023

The book will be published by two publishing companies, HarperCollins Children’s Books in the UK and Alfred A. Knopf in the US, on the 5th of September, 2023.

By Hope Ibiale

Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has announced the release of her debut children’s picture book, Mama’s Sleeping Scarf. The book will be published by two publishing companies, HarperCollins Children’s Books in the UK and Alfred A. Knopf in the US, on the 5th of September, 2023.

For the first time, the writer will publish under the pseudonym Nwa Grace James (translated to mean “the child of Grace James,” a dedication to her mother). The Congolese-Angolan animator and illustrator, Joelle Avelino will illustrate the book.

The soon-to-be-released book tells the story of Chino and the adventures she embarks on with her mother’s scarf. While announcing on her Instagram page, Adichie said, “So delighted to announce that I’ve written my first children’s book, Mama’s Sleeping Scarf. It is a celebration of the joy in ordinary family life. It also happens to be based on a day in the life of my daughter. The illustrations by the immensely talented Joelle Avelino are so beautiful, and so apt. It will be published by HarperCollins (UK) and Alfred A. Knopf (US) on 5th September. It is slated for release on September 5, 2023.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie-Mama’s Sleeping Scarf
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Mamas Sleeping Scarf “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the most important voices in literature today and we feel honoured to publish her first children’s book on the HarperCollins list,” HarperCollins Children’s Books executive publisher, Ann-Janine Murtagh, said. “Mama’s Sleeping Scarf is a tender and joyful exploration of family life. Exquisitely written with compelling simplicity, this is a heartfelt homage to family love. It will be a picture book treasured across the generations.”

In a statement released by Lexy Bloom, Adichie’s editor at Knopf, he said, “At the heart of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bold, big-hearted novels are the essential themes of love and family, which she excels in narrating from a variety of perspectives. It is fitting, then, that she now turns her exceedingly talented eye to a children’s book, wherein we see the daily life of a little girl who worries when her mother leaves for the day, who turns a scarf into a plaything, who takes comfort in the warm embrace of the family around her. Through this lens, we are privileged to see Chimamanda as a mother, daughter, and powerful storyteller for a new generation.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer whose works include novels, short stories, and non-fiction. She is the author of The Thing Around Your Neck, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah, Ceiling, and many others. The writer has won awards like the PEN Pinter Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award: Fiction category, the International Nonino Prize, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Best First Book (overall), and many others.

You can preorder the book here.

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