Kente Colors

Kente Colors

5.0 1
by Deborah M. Newton Chocolate, John Ward
     
 

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"Ward's high-intensity hues and kente-patterned borders suit the subject matter like a custom-made, bright silk kente robe."-- Publishers Weekly

"Ward's lush paintings are wonderful .... This book is important in that it is the first to convey an understanding of kente cloth history and cultural significance for a young audience."-- School Library

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Overview

"Ward's high-intensity hues and kente-patterned borders suit the subject matter like a custom-made, bright silk kente robe."-- Publishers Weekly

"Ward's lush paintings are wonderful .... This book is important in that it is the first to convey an understanding of kente cloth history and cultural significance for a young audience."-- School Library Journal

"A fascinating author's note explains the history and traditions of the cloth."-- Booklist

A joyful ode to kente celebrates the beauty and tradition of this West African fabric that is now so popular in America. Rhythmic verse shows the special meaning of colors and patterns while glorious paintings show kente as it is used and worn in Ghana, from babies' blankets to dancers' capes. An author's note further explains kente's rich symbolism. Readers young and old will delight in discovering the connections between African culture and the colorful cloth we love to wear.

Debbi Chocolate is the award-winning author of many books for young readers. She lives with her husband and two sons in a suburb of Chicago.

John Ward is the acclaimed illustrator of several children's books. John and his wife, Olympia, live in Freeport, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The traditional kente cloth of the Ashante people of Ghana stretches to become the stuff of story hour. The cloth's vivid tones (red, yellow, blue, black and gold) are explored for their symbolic values and matched with scenes from African and African American culture and daily life. A spread devoted to "emerald kente," symbolizing a bountiful harvest, shows colorfully garbed characters reaping fruit. Indigo blue is the color of African skies, sheltering a lone shepherd and his flock. This latter choice may confuse some readers, however, as Chocolate (On the Day I Was Born) specifies in a preface that blue represents "love." Ward's (The Adventures of High John the Conqueror) high-intensity hues and kente-patterned borders suit the subject matter like a custom-made, bright silk kente robe. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Catherine Campbell Wright
Chocolate's beautiful tribute to kente celebrates the beauty and tradition of this West African fabric. Rhythmic verse clearly tells readers about the special meanings of the colors and patterns of kente. For example, emerald kente is for harvest time, blue kente symbolizes love, and ivory represents joy. Ward's rich, vibrant paintings show kente as it worn in Ghana, both traditionally and nontraditionally, from dancers' capes to schoolgirls' skirts. There is an informative author's note at the back of the book which further explains the many functions and meanings of kente.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3A richly illustrated book that celebrates the tradition and use of the African kente cloth. The simple, rhyming text describes the multiplicity of colors used and the numerous ways the Ashanti of Ghana and the Ewe of Ghana and Togo incorporate the fabric into their daily lives. In an endnote, Chocolate explains the weaving process and the colors' meanings. Ward's lush paintings are wonderful. Deep blues, bright reds, blacks, golds, and purples fairly leap off the pages. This book is important in that it is the first to convey an understanding of kente cloth's history and cultural significance for a young audience.Carol Jones Collins, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ
Hazel Rochman
In brilliant poster colors, this picture book celebrates the kente cloth made by the Ashante people of Ghana and the Ewe of Ghana and Togo. A fascinating author's note explains the history and traditions of the cloth, how it is handwoven in strips and stitched together, and the symbolic meanings of its colors and patterns. Then a minimal rhyming text and bold, smiling pictures illustrate the dominant colors and show the cloth being worn in daily life and in ceremonial activities, in Africa and in the West, "for generations young and old." The endpapers frame the book in bright, beautiful kente patterns.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780780785885
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
01/28/2010
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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