My First Kwanzaa

Overview

A simple way to get acquainted with Kwanzaa

"Hooray! Hooray!

It's time to get ready for Kwanzaa."

During the seven days of Kwanzaa we celebrate the importance of family, friends, and community. This warm and lively introduction to a very special holiday will help even the youngest children join in!

Author and illustrator Karen Katz kicks off a wonderful new series of picture ...

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Overview

A simple way to get acquainted with Kwanzaa

"Hooray! Hooray!

It's time to get ready for Kwanzaa."

During the seven days of Kwanzaa we celebrate the importance of family, friends, and community. This warm and lively introduction to a very special holiday will help even the youngest children join in!

Author and illustrator Karen Katz kicks off a wonderful new series of picture books for the very young with My First Kwanzaa. The series will offer a simple and fun way to get familiar with the traditions of holiday celebrations from different cultures.

A girl describes how she and her family celebrate the seven days of Kwanzaa.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The perfect introduction to Kwanza for the younger set." —Black Issues Book Review

"The specifics, the simple words, and the active pictures combine to convey the wider sense of community that is the essence of the holiday." —Booklist

"A solid, sweet, and meaty choice for holiday reading." —Kirkus Reviews

"The simple text and colorful folkloric illustrations with vivid patterns make this a good book to share with young children." —School Library Journal

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A round-faced, happy little girl tells about her family's Kwanzaa celebration. The simple text and colorful folkloric illustrations with vivid patterns make this a good book to share with young children. Adults will appreciate the brief note about the holiday and the phonetic spelling of the Swahili words. Juwanda G. Ford's K Is for Kwanzaa: A Kwanzaa Alphabet Book (Scholastic, 1997) has a similar appeal, but the narrative format of Katz's title makes it more appropriate for storytimes.-V. W. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With colorful collage and mixed-media illustrations alongside brief, yet informative text, Katz's latest offers youngsters an engaging introduction to the African-American holiday. She tells the story through the eyes of a young girl celebrating with her family. In the opening pages, the child, cherubic and round-faced, explains traditional elements, such as the kinara, or candleholder, in which seven candles, one for each day of Kwanzaa, are placed. Next, the girl explains the significance of each day and the "special idea" it represents. Umoja, or unity, for example, is honored on day one. (The Swahili name for each day, its pronunciation and translation, prefaces each section; various other Swahili words are interspersed throughout.) A solid, sweet, and meaty choice for holiday reading. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805070774
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Series: My First Holiday Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 28
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Katz

Karen Katz has written and illustrated many books for children, including The Colors of Us, Can You Say Peace, My First Ramadan, Counting Kisses and Where is Baby’s Belly Button. Long inspired by folk art from around the world, she was inspired to write her first book, Over the Moon, when she and her husband adopted their daughter from Guatemala, and she wanted to tell the story of welcoming Lena into their lives. Katz loves to paint and experiment with texture, color, collage and pattern. Besides an author and illustrator, she has been a costume designer, quilt maker, fabric artist and graphic designer. Katz and her family divide their time between New York City and Saugerties, New York.

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    1. Education:
      Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia; Yale Graduate School of Art and Architecture
    2. Website:

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