The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
The Seven Days of Kwanzaa Book Poster Image
Simple song introduces Kwanzaa to young readers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Gives a basic introduction to Kwanzaa, the seven principles, and people sharing traditions. Children, family, and community are all celebrated.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a very simple introduction to the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa. The text can be sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," which some readers may not like.

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What's the story?

Following the rhythm and format of the \"Twelve Days of Christmas,\" gifts are counted off and accumulated over the seven days of Kwanzaa. The principle being celebrated is given in Kiswahili at the beginning of each day, and a short explanation of the holiday is added at the end.

Is it any good?

This pleasant little book will be fun for young readers, and gives a quick introduction to the Kwanzaa traditions. Though no instructions are given, readers will find themselves singing the words to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as they turn the pages to see what each new day brings.

The text is simple, as are the illustrations that show happy family members and friends enjoying the holiday. Golden tones and candlelight accent the kind smiles of various generations as they lovingly share the many gifts of their African-American heritage. Children, family, and community are celebrated, and so is each of the seven principles (Unity, Control, Cooperation, Sharing of Profits, Purpose, Creativity and Faith), which are named in the Kiswahili language on the top corner of each new page. While older readers may prefer other more informative Kwanzaa books, they will appreciate the short summary of the various traditions that is given at the end of the book.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Kwanzaa and its traditions. How did Kwanzaa get started, and what is the meaning and importance of each of its seven principles? How is it like Christmas or Hanukkah, and how is it different?

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