Halima, Superhero Princess

Emily Joof; Illustrated by Asa Gilland

Currently reprinting - due 30 Aug 2024

Quick Look

  • A young girl struggles when her friends say she can't dress up as her favourite fictional characters because she looks different to them
  • Halima's mother helps her to understand that she is free to dress up as whoever she likes and that there are also many brilliant women of colour she can look up to
  • Features an emotional learning message about celebrating your own identity and feeling free to express your true inner self
  • From African-diaspora author Emily Joof, creator of I Will Swim Next Time
  • Introduces readers to inspiring women of colour, both real and fictional
  • Eye-catching illustrations from Åsa Gilland imbue the story with warmth and energy

Halima is a young Black girl who overcomes her self-doubt, rooted in feeling different from her white friends, and discovers her inner superhero princess. An empowering story about inner belief and self-expression from the author of I Will Swim Next Time.

292 x 224 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 4 to 7 years
28 pages
Publication date:
21 Mar 2024


Halima can't decide who to dress up as for her friend's birthday party. Should she be a princess like Elsa, or a sort-of superhero like Pippi Longstocking? "You can't be either," her friends tell her, "because you don't look like them."

Halima decides she doesn't want to go to the party any more. What's the point if she can't be one of her heroes? Until Mama says Halima can be whoever she wants to be, and together they discover some of the strong, brave women who could inspire her. Can Halima regain her confidence and discover her inner superhero princess?

Heartfelt and uplifting, this empowering story from African-diaspora mother Emily Joof encourages confidence, pride and self-expression in young readers, and introduce them to inspiring women of colour from around the world. Asa Gilland's vibrant and engaging illustrations are full of texture, expression and fun.


'An empowering picture book that will help little ones to discover their own inner superheroes.'
-- Scottish Book Trust

'An empowering story about being proud of who you are and sharing it with the world... An uplifting book!'
-- Kindling

'There's so much to take from this empowering, positive story and characters readers will love too.'
-- LoveReading4Kids

Praise for Emily Joof’s I Will Swim Next Time:

'This adorable, sweet book is all about reassuring little ones that they can take their time with things they feel nervous about.'
-- BookTrust

'Offers a model for parents looking to quell children’s fears, support their dreams, and allow them room to grow. Given that many swimming pools have historically excluded African American communities and that Black children face an elevated risk of drowning, a narrative that spotlights a Black family reveling in the water is especially welcome. Gentle, inspiring, and important.'
-- Kirkus Reviews

'Joof's poetic verse glides effortlessly through the story.'
-- The Scotsman

'A wonderfully gentle approach to children trying new things. This is a great book to share with any child that might be about to embark on the unknown.'
-- Scottish Book Trust

'This is an affirming story about listening to yourself and taking things at your own pace.'
-- Juno

Praise for Åsa Gilland:

‘The book's bright and busy illustrations pulse with life.’
-- Kirkus Reviews on Meena's Mindful Moment

'Åsa Gilland’s stunning illustrations take us through the changing seasons and remind us that, in life, sometimes everything changes.'
-- Teach Early Years on Everything Changes


Emily Joof is an African-diaspora author, education expert and mum. She writes children's books with a focus on inclusion and diversity, including I Will Swim Next Time and Halima, Superhero Princess. Her books have been translated into Swedish, French and Wolof. Born in Nigeria, Emily now divides her time between the Gambia, the UK and Sweden.

Åsa Gilland is a Swedish illustrator and designer. She has a background in interior design and brings her love of texture and to her illustrations. Åsa’s picture books include This is Our World, A Grandma's Magic and Letters to Live By: An Alphabet Book with Intention. She has lived in Indonesia for over 20 years.

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