Nearly a decade since the publication of her last full-length work of fiction Americanah, the iconic Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set to release a new book. The children’s picture book, titled Mama’s Sleeping Scarf, is Adichie’s debut offering in the genre, and will be published by Harper Collins Children’s Books in the UK.
According to the Bookseller, the rights were sold by Adichie’s agent Sarah Chalfant to Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher, and Nick Lake, publisher of fiction and author brands, in a three-book deal. Murtagh celebrated the acquisition and sang praises for the upcoming children’s book:
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. 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. With beautiful illustrations from Joelle Avelino, it will be a picture book treasured across the generations.
The book is reportedly a love letter of sorts to Adichie’s daughter who was three years old when the book was written. Inspired by her own family, the book “portrays an ordinary day in Lagos following a young girl called Chino as she plays with her mama’s scarf, spots her grandfather on his walk and winds down to go to sleep.”
The book is illustrated by the Congolese-Angolan animator and illustrator Joelle Avelino. Adichie, for the first time ever, will publish under the alias Nwa Grace James (translated to mean “the child of Grace James”—a dedication to her mother.) Early reviews for the book have hailed it as “tender and joyful.”
The book will be published in autumn 2023.
Stay tuned for more details.