Lupita Nyong’o released her bestselling children’s book Sulwe in 2019 to rave reviews. and the acclaimed actress is now back with a remix edition. The Black Panther star will release an audio version of the book as well as voice all the characters. Lupita tweeted, “#Sulwe is going to be an audiobook too! I loved recording the voices of all the characters. It brought back sweet memories of reading aloud with my mother. Can’t wait for you to hear it. Out Feb. 23 via @PRHAudio.
Sulwe centers around a five-year-old girl whose name means “star” in Lupita’s native Kenyan language, Luo. Illustrated by Vashti Harrison, the children’s fantasy helps a young girl see the beauty in her dark skin after taking a magic trip. Sulwe also earned a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for Harrison’s artwork and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literary Work.
“Listening to a book read aloud is such a personal, intimate way to experience the characters and story. I wanted to narrate the audiobook for Sulwe myself in order to bring to life the characters as I had imagined them in my head when writing the book,” Nyong’o explained to People magazine.
The Hollywood actress has discussed in the past how colorism has affected her life and how she wants kids to feel great about themselves no matter their complexion. She’s previously emphasized how her mother constantly reminded her of her beauty while she was growing up.
“The character of Mama, for one, is inspired by my own mother, and it was rewarding to emulate the warmth, calm and compassion that she continues to comfort and guide me with to this day,” Nyong’0 disclosed to People, “I had so much fun performing the voices for Sulwe, her family, Night, and Day and I can’t wait for readers to hear them.”
Sulwe is published by Penguin Random House and is also available in Luo and Swahili languages.