From the Publisher
"Enjoyable as well as handy, the book will be a strong addition to both school and public library collections."
"Done in green, red, blue, black, and yellow acrylics, the paintings add vibrance and motion to the easy-to-read narrative."
School Library Journal
With bold, clear paintings and child-centered text, Saint James fashions a remarkably lucid explanation of the seven principles of Kwanzaa and their origins. Unusual and highly effective, the book will appeal to young children (and the adults who read to them).
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
In this story by the esteemed visual artist and designer of a commemorative Kwanzaa stamp, a little girl tells of her family's celebration, with many concrete details of how a child can live the seven Kwanzaa principles. For example, the narrator explains: "...Ujima is for coming together to get things done right./We help in our homes, we join with our neighbors,/ to keep everything beautiful, to keep our lives good."
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
It's a difficult and admirable feat to successfully represent seven abstract principles like Kuichagulia (self-determination) and imani (faith) so that a young child can understand. Saint James manages to pull this off marvelously well. Part of her success comes from the powerful bold colors that she chooses for her abstracts. The remainder comes from a smooth flowing style with the text delivered from a child's vantage point. She begins with things that are first apparent and important to a child, such as the symbols and the children's roles. From there, she describes the seven principles in a clear, lively, child-centered way. 1997 (orig.