Awe-samosas! by Marzieh Abbas and Bhagya Madanasinghe

Hello, Marzieh Abbas! Thank you for stopping by celebrate AWE-SAMOSAS!

Marzieh Abbas: Hello, Mr. Schu! Thank you so much for hosting the cover reveal of AWE-SAMOSAS! It’s such an honor to be here, talking about a book which has a lot of me in it—my love for my rather quirky Dadi, my paternal grandma, my love for experimental cooking, and of course, my love for samosas! Which by the way are awesome ☺ as are Bhagya’s gorgeous, warm illustrations.

Marzieh wrote the words in black, and I wrote the words in purple. Thank you, Marzieh! 

Awe-samosas!’s cover reveals just enough about the book to intrigue you (hint: looks at all those sweet and savory ingredients—not your regular samosas in-the-making!) And hasn’t Bhagya beautifully captured the joy of cooking and samosas in Noor, the main character’s, expressions?

Bhagya Madanasinghe’s illustrations
are so unique! I can’t wait for readers to flip through the interior! One glimpse at her art and you can tell she’s a master of color theory, shadows, and lighting. I love the unique square-ish look she gives her characters’ faces and their eyes are so expressive. I’ve recently started on my own illustration journey. I have a long way to go, but I now appreciate her art (and the work of all artists) all the more!

Awe-samosas!’s endpapers were an art-note in my initial manuscript. They’re doodles from Noor, the main character’s, journal. They show her love for her grandma, Pakistan (her parent’s homeland), her pet parrot, Mithoo, and her love for cooking.

Awe-samosas! is dedicated to my kids who are always in the kitchen while I cook, helping me put a twist on traditional recipes. It is also dedicated to my samosa-loving Abu, my dad. In the book, Noor usually cooks with her Dadi, her grandma, but since Dadi is away visiting Pakistan, Noor’s Abu helps her put together her AWE-SAMOSAS!

John Schu, you should have asked me
about the backstory for AWE-SAMOSAS! Here it is: When I had initially gotten married, my mother-in-law taught me lots of her secret recipes. I loved to cook and getting introduced to so many new recipes, while learning of new customs, was great. One of those recipes was a samosa stuffed with coconut shavings, sugar, cardamom, and lots of crushed nuts. It soon became a Ramadan-favorite. Here’s a picture of the stuffing and my perfectly-wrapped, equilateral samosas:

I had only ever eaten savory samosas. I recreated the sweet samosas many times. Many years down the line it was the story spark for AWE-SAMOSAS!

Marzieh Abbas is a baker turned award-winning author. She loves adding magic to her creations—whether that’s a seven-layered rainbow cake or the books she writes for children all over the world. She enjoys learning new skills, jumping rope, sipping chai, and observing nature. She is the author of several upcoming children’s books, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and a graduate of the Children’s Book Academy. She lives in Pakistan.

Bhagya Madanasinghe is an illustrator and architect from Sri Lanka, a colorful little country in South Asia. She was drawn to various illustrative styles that guided her to the beautiful world of children's books. She enjoys making characters with strong emotions and actions to express the mood of her illustrations. She loves exploring new places to inspire her work. Her favorite thing to cook is pol sambol. Currently, she lives in Canada with her husband and lovely daughter, where she continues to excel in her artistic endeavors.

Awe-samosas! releases on March 26, 2024. Pre-order a copy today


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