Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story

Overview

In an African village live seven brothers who make life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be turned out as beggars.

When they are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold, the seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and embody the principles of Kwanzaa. Includes information ...

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Overview

In an African village live seven brothers who make life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be turned out as beggars.

When they are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold, the seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and embody the principles of Kwanzaa. Includes information on Kwanzaa, West African cloth weaving, and instructions for making a belt.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A rare combination of superior storytelling and striking artwork elevates this wonderful account of Kwanzaa's principles. Daniel Mintner's painted woodcuts -- sparkling silhouettes, attractively composed -- capture the energy of Angela Shelf Medearis' magical, original folktale.
Kirkus Reviews
Any family with seven sons must hear plenty of bickering, but the seven Ashanti brothers in this family quarrel from dawn to dusk and into the night. Their father leaves them a legacy in more than material terms, with the requirement that they must spin seven spools of thread (each in a different shade) into gold in only one day—with no arguing. Medearis has crafted an original story with the timeless tone of a traditional folktale, subtly incorporating the seven principles of Kwanzaa into her plot. The brothers learn to cooperate in both words and deeds, weaving their seven colors of silken thread into multicolored cloth so beautiful it is purchased for the king (with a bag of gold, of course). Demonstrating the Kwanzaa principle of cooperative economics, the brothers teach their whole village to weave the patterned fabric known as kente cloth. Minter's striking linoleum block-print illustrations complement the story perfectly, with the seven decidedly different brothers shown in silhouette against jewel-bright backgrounds full of intriguing details of African village life. The history and seven principles of Kwanzaa are clearly explained in the introduction; directions for making a simple loom from straws and weaving a cloth belt are included in an appendix. This added information as well as the satisfying story will make this beautifully designed book a valuable selection for elementary-school teachers and librarians. A fine choice for a Kwanzaa gift, and a first choice for most school and public-library collections. (Picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807573167
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 946,820
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Medearis
Angela Medearis
Angela Shelf Medearis, author of The African American Kitchen, is the founder of Diva Productions, Inc., the organization that produces her multicultural children's books, cookbooks, videos, and audiocassettes.
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