"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
From Publishers Weekly
Following a brief history of the seven-day holiday (December 26-January 1), a child narrator explains the seven symbols and the seven principles of Kwanzaa, defining each with its African name (and supplying a a phonetic pronunciation). Despite some choppiness, the simple descriptions of the rituals performed each day make this a lucid introduction to the significance of Kwanzaa. Echoing the candor of the text are Saint James's boldly hued, minimalist acrylic-on-canvas paintings. Although this is the first book she has written, Saint James will be familiar to many for her art, which has appeared in picture books, on greeting cards and on book jackets. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.