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The Story Of Kwanzaa

It’s Kwanzaa-time! Light the candles on the kinara! Fly the bendera, and tell stories from Africa! The festival of Kwanzaa was originated by Dr. Maulana Karenga to honor the customs and history of African Americans. The seven principles of Kwanzaa, called the Nguzo Saba, serve to remind African Americans of the struggles of the past, and also focus on present-day achievements and goals for the future. Activities at the end of the book include making your own cow-tail switch and baking benne cakes.

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (October 3, 1996)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0060248181

ISBN-13: 978-0060248185

Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches

Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,518,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #28 in Books > Children's Books > Holidays & Celebrations > Kwanzaa

Age Range: 4 - 8 years

Grade Level: 1 - 5

The books begins by providing a very general history of Africa. However, some of the claims that are made I do not think are true, such as the Brer Rabbits stories were about slaves and their slave owners. Having read a book of Brer Rabbits tales, I think that the slave that Joel Chandler Harris interviewed for the Brer Rabbit books was retelling stories that originated from Africa. But, I like the illustrations in the book, each one of them could be a story by itself. Moreover, the real value of this piece of the literature is the last two-thirds of the book, where the seven days of Kwanzaa are explained and reference materials for Kwanzaa is given.

The book was very informative, but I only ended up reading a sentence or two from a few pages to my Kindergarten class. The illustrations are nice from an adult perspective but boring for the students. I wouldn't recommend this as a read-aloud for an elementary class. I feel misled by the title and the cover illustrations; it isn't really a "story" and it isn't really for children.

Donna Washington is a wonderful storyteller, and the illustrations in this book do the story justice as well. This is a great addition to any school or family library collection as it explains the tradition of Kwanzaa in an accessible and appealing way.

Just the right amount of info for young minds. Simple but thorough explanations and instructions introduced my daughter to this holiday much better than I could. She wants to do something different each year. So, this book has lasting value.

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