Nigerian author Elnathan John will publish a children’s picture book titled Hassan and Hassana with Cassava Republic Press this year. The book explores the lives of two identical twins, a boy and a girl, and the ways that gender norms seep into early childhood but can be challenged with kindness and collaboration.
Hassan and Hassana is scheduled to release on July 18 in the UK and on September 19 in the U.S. John’s book will be published in both Hausa and English this year.
According to the publisher’s note, John’s children’s book features a wonderful relationship between the twins and is a “beautiful story about sharing, kindness and standing up for what is right.” Read the full synopsis below:
Hassan and Hassana are twins, and they’re practically identical. Even though one is a boy and the other a girl, ever since they were babies people have had trouble telling them apart. For their 8th birthday, Hassan gets a bike and Hassana gets drums. Hassan’s friends tell him that girls can’t ride bikes, leaving him with an important decision to make. Will he decide to share or will he let Hassana feel left out?
Take a look at the stunning panel shared by the publisher below:
John treats the topic of gender norms with care and sensitivity, making sure to provide children with an apt example to understand the inequality of such norms and emphasize the importance of collaboration to improve societal issues. We highly recommend Hassan and Hassana to all parents who have young children and desire to teach them about social justice in simple ways.
Born in Kaduna, Nigeria, Elnathan John is a novelist and lawyer whose short stories have been shortlisted twice for the Caine Prize for African Writing. John’s first novel Born on a Tuesday (2016) won the Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for NLNG Prize for Literature. His other books include Be(com)ing Nigerian (2019) and On Ajayi Crowther Street (2019).
Congrats to John on the upcoming children’s picture book!