Reviews for Kwanzaa

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 October

PreS-Gr 1--Each title presents the holiday in a simple and fairly straightforward manner, focusing on basic concepts, practices, and symbols. All of them begin with a question ("What is a holiday?" "What is a festival?") and end with a "Note to Parents and Teachers," which includes topics for discussion both before and after reading. Of the three titles, Kwanzaa is the most successful and Hanukkah presents the most problems. The latter states that the celebration takes place "in winter," which is often untrue since winter begins December 21 and Hanukkah (being based on the lunar calendar) is sometimes over before that date. In addition, the pictures and text make it appear that all nine candles in the menorah are lit each night. An actual explanation of the candle lighting is only found in the notes, which is an unfortunate difference from Kwanzaa, which says "Each day a new candle is lit." A nice inclusion in the notes of Christmas is the suggestion that adults discuss the idea that some of the most appreciated gifts are "gifts of time and love." All in all, these titles might be used successfully as long as an adult is available to discuss the main text, but as stand-alones, they are merely additional.--Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

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