Title: The Gifts of Kwanzaa
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, Morton Grove, Illinois
Publication Date: 1994
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Full-color illustrated laminate boards; in matching dust jacket; illustrated in full-color throughout. Inscribed by the author to Lena Horne, the incomparable performer and brave civil rights activist: "For Lena -- Sending much love! Synthia.". Bookseller Inventory # JC-LH2660
Synopsis: "Saint James' clear, accessible introduction to Kwanzaa includes explanations of the Nguzo Saba (the Seven Principles) as well as information about the holiday's origin. . . . Enjoyable as well as handy, the book will be a strong addition to both school and public library collections".--"Booklist". Full color.
Review: " Habari gani? What news?" Synthia Saint James presents the language and origins of Kwanzaa with enticing writing and bold pictures that honor the people and colors of Africa. In her concise introduction, she explains that "'Kwanzaa, which means 'first fruits' in the African language of Swahili, is celebrated for seven days, from December 26 to January 1 ... There are seven principles of Kwanzaa, one for each day. They were designed especially for our children, our future." On this note the author launches into a vibrant discussion of Kwanzaa that is sure to engage children well into the future. Beholding Kwanzaa from the eyes of a young child, Saint James explains the daily rituals with passages such as, "On the first day of Kwanzaa, I light the one black candle in the kinara (kee-NAH-rah), the candleholder. It shines for our pride in the black race. We light the red candle the next day to remember our struggle; the green on the next for our hopes and dreams." Saint James's proud interpretations of the Swahili words and symbolic objects of Kwanzaa are accompanied by illustrations that look as though they've been neatly carved out of tempura-painted paper. Children will love the uncluttered images and the obvious respect for the child's angle of vision. (Ages 4 to 7) --Gail Hudson
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