08/13/2012 04:09 EDT

K'naan Set To Publish Children's Picture Book

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HOLMDEL, NJ - MAY 20: K'naan performs onstage at 103.5 KTU's KTUphoria at PNC Bank Arts Center on May 20, 2012 in Holmdel City, New Jersey. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images)

TORONTO -- Toronto rapper K'naan plans to publish a children's picture book about his life.

Tundra Books says it will release "When I Get Older: The Story Behind 'Wavin' Flag" in Canada and the U.S., in hardcover and as an ebook, on Sept. 25.

K'naan -- who is also a poet, MC, singer and songwriter-- writes in the book about how his family fled their native Somalia to escape the outbreak of the 1991 civil war there.

The three-time Juno Award winner also explains how music helped him adjust to life in a new country.

Artist Rudy Gutierrez did the illustrations for the 32-page, full-colour book, which also has a brief history of the Somalian conflict.

Also included are the lyrics and sheet music of K'naan's hit "Wavin' Flag.''

K'naan's third album, "Country, God or the Girl,'' is also due out this fall.

"I think of empathy as a muscle in the soul, which develops through the nutrition we provide for it. The stories we hear as children can be that nutrition,'' K'naan, who was born Keinan Abdi Warsame, said in a statement.

"I wanted to write a children's story that reflects the new immigrant's sense of family and identity, which can sometimes be lost in translation. In this book, the main character is 'Wavin' Flag,' a song whose ownership has been long claimed by children all over the world.''