Kwanzaa begins on December 26th, so it’s not too early to start getting kids into the spirit—and what better way than with these beautiful picture books? Children are a huge part of Kwanzaa and its traditions, and these delightful reads will help teach them the story of Kwanzaa, why it was created, and what it means. A holiday filled with ceremonies, readings, decorations, music, reflection, and feasting, Kwanzaa also offers parents a way to celebrate the importance of community, family, and history with their children. Even if you don’t typically celebrate Kwanzaa, these children’s books can introduce your little ones to different cultures and traditions through time spent reading together. Kwanzaa’s seven principles, which include unity, purpose, and creativity, are also important values to instill in all of our children. Here are six of our favorite children’s books about Kwanzaa.
Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story, by Angela Shelf Medearis and Daniel Minter
Kwanzaa’s seven principles are outlined in this story of seven brothers who are constantly fighting until their father dies and they are given a seemingly impossible task to complete together. A perfect nod to unity, faith, collective work and responsibility, and the rest of the seven Kwanzaa principles.
Kevin’s Kwanzaa, by Lisa Bullard and Costansa Basaluzzo
With a young boy named Kevin narrating each day of Kwanzaa, this book is a great active read for your kiddos. They’ll get to hear exactly what happens each day and how different families celebrate the seven days of Kwanzaa.
Together for Kwanzaa, by Juwanda G. Ford and Shelly Hehenberger
Sweet little Kayla is worried a big snow storm will keep her brother Khari away from their family’s Kwanzaa celebration, proving to all who read this darling book that family is the center of the entire holiday. It’s another thoughtful way to introduce your kids to the traditions of Kwanzaa.
Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa, by Donna L. Washington and Shane W. Evans
This inspirational picture book will make even the smallest one in your family feel important during the big holiday. When Li’l Rabbit’s grandma becomes sick and will miss out on the feast, he tries to find his place in the preparation for Kwanzaa by finding something else for her to enjoy. He relies on friends and family to help along the way, cementing the working together and creative principles of Kwanzaa.
Story of Kwanzaa, by Donna L. Washington and Stephen Taylor
Including a brief history of Kwanzaa’s creation, information on the seven principles and beliefs of the celebration, and activities in the back of the book, Story of Kwanzaa is a sweet addition to your little one’s library. It features beautiful illustrations, with lots of traditional African patterns.
Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Kwanzaa, by Carolyn B. Otto
From National Geographic Society, this pick is geared towards older kids, but is still great for the whole family. The book introduces your children to the seven symbols of Kwanzaa, and several of its traditions, like dancing, feasting, and making gifts. It’s an educational book that won’t overwhelm your kids, but will get them excited about the seven days of Kwanzaa.
What picture books help your household celebrate Kwanzaa?