The Sound Of Kwanzaa


Hear the words, sing the songs, dance to the beat, and shout "Harambee!" as you jump into this joyful celebration of the sounds of Kwanzaa!

The sound is Umoja--bringing us together.
The sound is Kuumba--the songs of our ancestors.
The sound is Kwanzaa!

Lively verse and colorful illustrations guide you through the seven principles of this ...

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Hear the words, sing the songs, dance to the beat, and shout "Harambee!" as you jump into this joyful celebration of the sounds of Kwanzaa!

The sound is Umoja--bringing us together.
The sound is Kuumba--the songs of our ancestors.
The sound is Kwanzaa!

Lively verse and colorful illustrations guide you through the seven principles of this festive holiday. All you have to do is come close, gather round, and discover what Kwanzaa is all about!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Tokumbo invites us to "come close, gather round. Listen to the sound of Kwanzaa," for each of the seven nights of the celebration. Each night a candle is lit, symbolizing one of the principles of the holiday. Umoja is for "unity;" Kujichagulia for "self-determination;" Ujima means "collective work and responsibility;" Ujama means "cooperative economics;" Nia is for "purpose;" Kuumba stands for "creativity;" and Imani means "faith." There is a brief explanation of each. One black, three green, and three red candles are lit; for each guiding principle there are appropriate activities for the family or group, all noted succinctly with feeling. Double-page scenes show family members engaged in these. Different solid colors are used as backdrops and to shape the figures. There is a collage-like look to the flatly-colored, abstractly-portrayed people and objects; the intent seems to aim to produce spiritual emotions while emphasizing happiness. There are added notes on the holiday as well as a recipe for brownies and a bibliography. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3–While this book serves as an easy introduction to the holiday, it fails to convey a celebratory tone. The Swahili words that comprise the seven guiding principles of Kwanzaa are defined on each spread, but the pronunciation guide appears in an author’s note at the back. The boldly colored illustrations showing various people and activities don’t always match the text. For example, “Beating drums and singing voices,/ we perform for KUUMBA” shows a lone figure quietly painting. Likewise, ceremonial candles are mentioned on each page but not shown until the end. In a note, Tokunbo describes a karamu or traditional feast on the last day of Kwanzaa and includes a recipe for No-Cook Brownie Bites made from dates. An uneven offering that falls rather flat.–Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
"Come close, gather 'round. / Listen to the sound of Kwanzaa." These words and the lighting of a candle mark each night of Kwanzaa. Tokunbo explains the seven principles in simple, concise language that even the youngest readers will understand. Many books on the subject focus on the actions and meanings of the principles, while this one uses the results of the action, which creates a story rather than prosaic factual text. What will you hear on each night? Loving words, ancient stories, sweeping brooms, laughing shoppers, sharing dreams, singing voices and thankful prayers bring readers into the celebration. Cohen's equally simple illustrations complement the text, the deep, vibrant colors reflecting the festive and reflective atmosphere of the celebration. (author's note, recipe, bibliography) (Picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545018654
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,411,855
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 12.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Cohen's work has appeared on magazine and book covers, cards, posters, and children's books--among them DANCING THE RING SHOUT (Hyperion, 2003) and LITTLE STEVIE WONDER(Houghton Mifflin 2005). Born in Cape Town, South Africa, she moved to the United States in the early 1980s, eager to embrace the freedom of expression available to her here. Ms. Cohen resides and paints in New Orleans.
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