Celebrate Kwanzaa: With Candles, Community, and Fruits of the Harvest

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Overview

Celebrate Kwanzaa continues the spectacular Holidays Around the World series by focusing on this African-American holiday, which falls during the festive, gift-giving season and is celebrated by families, communities, and schools throughout America. With succinct, lively text and beautiful photographs, the book celebrates African-American culture and helps us to understand and appreciate this special holiday.

Over the course of seven days, African Americans, families and ...

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Overview

Celebrate Kwanzaa continues the spectacular Holidays Around the World series by focusing on this African-American holiday, which falls during the festive, gift-giving season and is celebrated by families, communities, and schools throughout America. With succinct, lively text and beautiful photographs, the book celebrates African-American culture and helps us to understand and appreciate this special holiday.

Over the course of seven days, African Americans, families and friends, come together to light the candles that symbolize their past and future—and their unity. They gather as a community to make music and to dance; to feast on harvest foods and the good things of the earth; and to exchange simple, often homemade, gifts. Readers are introduced to the symbols of the holiday, such as the mkeka (a special placemat), kinara (candleholder), and kikombe cha umoja (unity cup). Important concepts, like the seven principles, are explained. In addition, a note from the book's consultant, aimed at parents and teachers, puts the holiday in its full cultural and historical perspective.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information. 

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
With candles, community, and ancestry, this cultural holiday of African Americans is celebrated from December 26 to January 1. The simple text is set amid bright, clear photographs of family celebrations. Swahili words are used in connection with the observance. "The name Kwanzaa means ‘first fruits' of the harvest." A kinara (kee-NAH-rah) is the candleholder of seven candles. Each day one candle is lit and one of the seven principles such as unity, self-determination, or cooperation, is talked about. The past is remembered and the future celebrated. The colors connected to the holiday are red, green, and black. Gifts are given especially on the last day and a feast is held. Directions show how to make an African rain stick A picture of a sweet potato pie accompanies the recipe. A list of books for further reading, websites, and a glossary with a pronunciation guide are included. "Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga and a cultural organization in Los Angeles called US during the civil rights and black power movements," writes the consultant Keith A. Mayes in a note at the end. This is part of the "Holidays Around the World" series. Children and their families will enjoy using this attractive book in their celebration. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426303197
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Series: Holidays Around the World Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn B.Otto is the author of more than 20 books, including several award-winning children's non-fiction titles. She has also written poetry and fiction for children and adults. She earned her master's degree from New York University. She now lives in Colorado Springs, CO.
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