Children's Literature - Joella PetersonThis newest edition in the "All-New Holiday Crafts for Kids" series focuses on crafts that kids can do for Kwanzaa. There are multiple types of crafts, and clear instructions with helpful step-by-step color illustrations. When describing the supplies needed for each craft, the items are not only listed, but an illustration allows young readers to understand what the item is if they do not recognize the name. Also, one craft says to "ask a grown-up to poke a small hole," when it is an activity that could use adult supervision. The first few craft ideas also teach a little about the holiday. For example, the first craft is "woven mat." Above the title the reader can learn that "the mkeka is a mat on which the symbols of Kwanzaa are placed." Nevertheless, when readers get to the crafts at the end of the book, instead of learning more about Kwanzaa or learning why the particular craft relates to Kwanzaa, there are just random sentences. For example, one craft is called a "reminder bookmark." The sentence above that craft reads, "This bookmark is the perfect gift for a friend or sibling who needs help getting library books back on time." There is no mention as to why this craft is in a Kwanzaa book. Although there are many nice craft ideas, the book sometimes lacks the important relevance to Kwanzaa.
School Library JournalK-Gr 3-A new version of the author's Crafts for Kwanzaa (Millbrook, 1994). Some of the projects are similar to those in the older title, but the introductory "Celebrating Kwanzaa," which touches on the origin of the holiday and explains that the language of Swahili is used to name the symbols, has been omitted. Careless editing includes run-on words with no spaces between them and an isolated reference to kikombe cha umoja, whose definition appears much earlier. One cannot assume that children will read a craft book cover to cover. Additional.-Susan Patron, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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