Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Children’s Picture Book Coming in 2023

The “joyful and tender” Mama’s Sleeping Scarf, forthcoming from HarperCollins Children’s Books, was written when her daughter was 3 years old.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by Manny Jefferson

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by Manny Jefferson.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s first picture book, Mama’s Sleeping Scarf, is forthcoming in 2023. Written under the pen name Nwa Grace James—in honour of her deceased parents James and Grace Adichie—the book will be released by HarperCollins Children’s Books in the UK.

Adichie wrote Mama’s Sleeping Scarf when her daughter was three years old, in 2019. The story is “inspired by the Adichie family and 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 artist Joelle Avelino.  

“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.” 

The book has been described as “joyful and tender.”

Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young, a writer, culture journalist, curator, and media consultant, is the founder and editor of Open Country Mag. He was editor of Folio Nigeria, CNN’s exclusive media affiliate in Africa, and has led or joined editorial teams at a host of platforms and projects in African literature. He has written about the Nigerian culture scene, covering innovation in over 20 fields including art, music, tech, sports, cuisine, fashion, journalism, sculpture, beauty, health, and activism. In literature, his Profile subjects have included Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Teju Cole, Damon Galgut, and Tsitsi Dangarembga. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He sat on the judging panel of The Morland Scholarship, a British grant for African writers, and currently chairs the panel of The Gerald Kraak Prize, a South African initiative for storytelling about gender, sexuality, and social justice. He has an MA in African Studies and a BA in English and History from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He is currently studying for an MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 2019, he received the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among “The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians” by Avance Media. Twitter & Instagram: @otosirieze. Website:

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