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My First Kwanzaa (My First Holiday) Hardcover – November 1, 2003

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My First Kwanzaa (My First Holiday) + Light The Lights! A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah And Christmas + The Legend of the Poinsettia
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 1
  • Series: My First Holiday
  • Hardcover: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080507077X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805070774
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-A round-faced, happy little girl tells about her family's Kwanzaa celebration. The simple text and colorful folkloric illustrations with vivid patterns make this a good book to share with young children. Adults will appreciate the brief note about the holiday and the phonetic spelling of the Swahili words. Juwanda G. Ford's K Is for Kwanzaa: A Kwanzaa Alphabet Book (Scholastic, 1997) has a similar appeal, but the narrative format of Katz's title makes it more appropriate for storytimes.-V. W.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS. With bright, clear collage illustrations that focus on one young preschooler and her extended family and friends, this small picture book introduces the Kwanzaa holiday. A double-page spread for each of the seven days of the holiday shows and tells the Seven Principles, from Working Together and Creativity to Faith and Purpose. Africa is mentioned a lot (though not specific countries or nations), and a final note explains that the name Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili word for "first fruits." A useful pronunciation guide is included, as are clear explanations of the candles, gifts, crafts, fruits, and vegetables that are part of the celebration. The specifics, the simple words, and the active pictures combine to convey the wider sense of community that is the essence of the holiday. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Check out my newest book WIGGLE YOUR TOES! A Book to pull,fluff, and wiggle!

I have always been interested in folk art from around the world, Indian miniatures, Mexican ceramics, fabrics, Chagall, Matisse, children's art, and primitive painting, and I love to paint and experiment with pattern, texture, collage and color. The careers I've had--as a costume designer, a quilt maker, a fabric artist, and a graphic designer--have taken all these interests into account. Looking back, I can see that these passions and career choices have played a large part in influencing me to become a children's book author and illustrator.

But most importantly, it was after my husband and I adopted our daughter from Guatemala that I was inspired to do a children's book for her. My first book, Over the Moon, was the story of that magical experience of welcoming our daughter Lena into our lives. I painted, I drew, I collaged, and I wrote, and after working very hard... a beautiful book was born! Twenty-two books later, my daughter--now fourteen years old--still is an inspiration for me.

I am fascinated by babies and little kids. The simplest words and gestures can make them laugh. Sometimes standing in line at the supermarket and watching kids in grocery carts, my best ideas are born.

I am fascinated by people from all over the world and what they look like and how they live and the differences that make us all unique.

When an idea pops into my head I ask these questions:
Will a child want to read this book?
Will a parent want to read this book with their child?
Will this book make a parent and child feel something?
Is there something visual here that will hold a child's interest?
Will a child see something in a different way after reading this book?
If the answer is yes, then I know I'm on the right track.

I am very lucky to get to do what I do. Everyday I go into my studio and have fun. Don't get me wrong, some days are very frustrating. Sometimes the colors are all wrong and the words don't sound right. But after I work at it for a while...and try to do it a different way...and think...and change the words or colors...and try some more...suddenly, there it is--a great page of writing, or a great illustration. And nothing is more satisfying than that.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mom2sweetp on December 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a pre-kindergarten teacher and I struggled to find an age apropriate book to explan Kwanzaa to the children in my classroom. This one was great! The children LOVED it and could relate to what was going on throughout the book. I recommend this book to anyone learning about Kwanzaa for the first time. It is a simple and enjoyable read! Also, K is For Kwanzaa is a good book to show the children the items used to celebrate Kwanzaa in a clear and simple manner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven C. Thedford on December 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading My First Kwanzaa, a colorful children's book that will bring smiles to your child's face. It provides examples of how to celebrate the holiday from a child's prospective, but it will also evoked some ideas for your own family. Moreover, it explains all of the principles and symbols of the Kwanzaa. In addition, the side bars provide background information that will help adults teach children about Kwanzaa. I highly recommend this book for any parent who wants to celebrate Kwanzaa.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach Kwanzaa to preschoolers all over the state, and this is the book I use. It's easy to understand, it's not too text-heavy or complex, and preschoolers respond to the illustrations. This is a fantastic introduction for very young children. I highly recommend it!
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