Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa


Li'l Rabbit is not having a very good Kwanzaa. Granna Rabbit is sick, and so his family won't celebrate his favorite part of Kwanzaa this year: a big feast called Karamu.

Li'l Rabbit knows what to do! He'll find Granna Rabbit a special treat for Karamu so she can celebrate anyway.

He looks under a pile of logs, in the field, and in the pond and along the way meets Groundhog, Momma Field Mouse, and the ...

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Li'l Rabbit is not having a very good Kwanzaa. Granna Rabbit is sick, and so his family won't celebrate his favorite part of Kwanzaa this year: a big feast called Karamu.

Li'l Rabbit knows what to do! He'll find Granna Rabbit a special treat for Karamu so she can celebrate anyway.

He looks under a pile of logs, in the field, and in the pond and along the way meets Groundhog, Momma Field Mouse, and the frogs—but he doesn't find anything for Granna Rabbit.

Maybe I'm just too little to help Granna Rabbit celebrate Kwanzaa, Li'l Rabbit thinks. Or maybe he just needs a little help from his family and friends.

Inspired by Brer Rabbit, a trickster character from the African-American folklore tradition, the story of Li'l Rabbit captures the true meaning of Kwanzaa—coming together to help others.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed.
A lively African-inspired tale brings a big-hearted rabbit who is not sure how to do his part during Kwanzaa celebrations. Very nicely illustrated with bold colors, this is an inspirational picture book. The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, "The Nguzo Saba," are explained with specific examples given from the story. Li'l Rabbit knows Granna Rabbit crafts toys for other animals, cares for their children, paints beautiful pictures, writes wonderful poems, and makes time for others. Granna Rabbit is very wise, but sick before preparations are completed. Now she needs everyone's help. Li'l Rabbit is determined to find a special gift for the big feast of Karamu which he loves the most. Even though he is the youngest, he diligently searches outdoors so his Granna can celebrate. Different animals in various habitats have no idea about Karamu, Zawadi or Kwanzaa. But they all know of Granna Rabbit's love for each of them. Much later, Li'l Rabbit returns home for a big surprise even without one special treat. All their friends are there! And Granna Rabbit has a huge smile on her face. There are many colorful decorations, a big feast, a lively chorus, and much excitement. Poppa Rabbit shares African tales about Brer Rabbit, Anansi the Spider, Guinea Fowl, and Mosquito. Next, they all enjoy a wonderful dance. Granna Rabbit calls out, "Harambee!" (let's pull together) as laughter and shouts repeat the exuberant chant. At last, Li'l Rabbit sits on Granna's lap wondering how she could assure him he had something very special. She explains that he shared his dream with friends and neighbors for their Karamu to be the best ever. Granna Rabbit has faith in him and faith always brings hope. Warmth of family and friends secure this enduring sentiment to even the littlest cherub with much love. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—Feeling too small to be of any use, Li'l Rabbit leaves the house to find something special for his sick grandmother during Karamu, a Kwanzaa feast. Each animal he encounters (Momma Oriole, Groundhog, frogs, etc.) has been on the receiving end of Granna Rabbit's generosity in the past and wants to help in some way. Without realizing it, Li'l Rabbit brings together a whole community for the "the best Karamu ever." The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are listed at the end of the book, providing the only direct details about the holiday. The yellow undertones (like the interior of the Rabbit family's earthy, mustard-colored home) add warmth to the cartoon artwork. Sweetly capturing the spirit of the season, the story comes in handy as a lovely supplement to resources that provide straightforward facts about Kwanzaa.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

Li'l Rabbit is not having a good Kwanzaa. Granna Rabbit is sick this year and unable to prepare the big feast called Karamu—Li'l Rabbit's favorite. A disappointed Li'l Rabbit hopes to make Granna Rabbit feel better by giving her a special treat. But what could it be? In a familiar literary pattern, Li'l Rabbit sets off, sharing his idea with other forest animals along the way. None of them knows much about Kwanzaa, but they all love Granna Rabbit. Just when Li'l Rabbit gives up, he returns home to find all the animals have gathered to make the best Karamu ever. Toasty, comforting hues and one plucky little rabbit (tongue stuck out in determination) capture the heart of this holiday—coming together to help others. The Nguzo Saba, or seven principles of Kwanzaa, are appended. (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060728168
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 702,452
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna L. Washington is a professional storyteller, multiple-award-winning recording artist, and author. She performs all over the country at festivals, schools, and libraries and gives workshops for parents and educators as well. Her many storytelling recordings have received Gold and Silver Parents' Choice Awards, Storytelling World Awards, iParenting Awards, Children's Music Web Awards, National Parenting Publications Awards Honors, and many more. Ms. Washington lives with her husband, two children, and two cats in Durham, North Carolina.

Shane W. Evans is the illustrator of more than thirty picture books for children, including The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith, a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winner, and the author and illustrator of Olu's Dream. He has exhibited his art in West Africa and Paris and in Chicago, New York, and other major U.S. cities. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he runs Dream Studio, a community art space.

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