Holiday book suggestions for Kwanzaa

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDDecember 23, 2013 

A selection of books, available at the library, to help families explore the holidays:

Picture Books

"Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa" by Donna L. Washington: Li'l Rabbit searches for a gift for his grandmother when she is sick during Kwanzaa, and surprises her with the best gift of all. Includes "The Nguzo Saba - The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa." Ages 5 - 6

"Kevin's Kwanzaa" by Lisa Bullard: Kevin is excited for his turn to light the candles on the last night of Kwanzaa. As he narrates through the week of Kwanzaa, readers learn about the origins, purpose, and rituals of this holiday. Ages 5 - 7 ebook

History and Meaning of the Holiday

"Kwanzaa" by A. P. Porter: Describes the origins and practices of Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday created to remind African Americans of their history and cultural origins.

"Kwanzaa Why We Celebrate It the Way We Do" by Martin Hintz: Discusses the origins and symbols of Kwanzaa, the holiday that focuses on African American history, culture, and experiences, and offers suggestions for ways to celebrate. Ages 7 - 8

"Kwanzaa" by Sheila Anderson: A simple explanation in a small square book with bright, full-page pictures. Ages 3 - 5

"Kwanzaa" by Dorothy Rhodes Freeman: The traditions and seven key principles associated with Kwanzaa are explained in a clear, interesting way in five information-packed chapters. Ages 7 - 10

"Kwanzaa" by Deborah M. Newton Chocolate: Discusses the holiday in which Afro-Americans celebrate their roots and cultural heritage from Africa. Ages 8 - 11

Holiday Crafts

"Kwanzaa A Family Affair" by Mildred Pitts Walter: Describes the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa and provides suggested activities, instructions for creating gifts and four favorite African and African-American recipes. Ages 4 - 7

"Kwanzaa Seven Days of African-American Pride" by Carol Gnojewski: Presents the history and meaning behind the observance of Kwanzaa and includes simple, creative ideas for children and adults to help them plan displays and gatherings without spending a lot of money. Ages 8 - 11

"Kwanzaa Crafts" by Carol Gnojewski: Provides information about the origin and customs of Kwanzaa, ideas for celebrating this holiday, and directions for making such crafts as people dolls, a centerpiece, and African clothes. Ages 8 - 9

"Kwanzaa Karamu Cooking and Crafts for A Kwanzaa Feast" by April A. Brady: Foods to make for a Kwanzaa feast and easy-to-make crafts.

"Seven Spools of Thread A Kwanzaa Story" by Angela Shelf Medearis: When they are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold, the seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and embody the principles of Kwanzaa. Includes instructions for making a belt. Ages 5 - 8

Catherine Sarette is the children's services coordinator at the Whatcom County Library System.

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