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Together for Kwanzaa (Pictureback(R)) by…

Together for Kwanzaa (Pictureback(R))

by Juwanda G. Ford

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This story is about a young girl named Kayla whose brother Khari cannot come home to celebrate Kwanzaa due to a snowstorm. Throughout the book, it describes the different symbolism of Kwanzaa meals, the Kwanza candles, and the principles of the 7 days of Kwanzaa. On the 5th day of Kwanzaa the principle is purpose, so Kayla decided her purpose was to be a good sister. She created a scrapbook with pictures of all of the events Khari missed of that year's Kwanzaa. The overall message was to inform readers that Kwanzaa is a time of giving, and each day has a special meaning of life.
The pictures depicted African culture including their clothing, accessories, food, and Kwanzaa traditions. For example, on the page of the second night of Kwanzaa, it shows the background with the walls covered in African patterns. Kayla, her mom, and her dad are dressed in African gowns with headbands. On each page, the pictures explained the scene along with the text. I thought the way they arranged the text and the pictures was very beneficial for children because the text was brief but held a lot of information, and the pictures showed every aspect of the text. Especially in an informational book about Kwanzaa, the pictures helped with the new Kwanzaa terms.
I also liked this book because of the compassion Kayla shows throughout the holiday. She is constantly thinking about how much she wishes her brother was with them to spend Kwanzaa with them. I think this is a good book for any child to read because it helps them think about others and encourages them to be giving to others. It also helps them be more aware of other cultures and beliefs, and gives them an open perspective on diverse traditions. ( )
  emilymcnally | Dec 15, 2016 |
When a heavy snowstorm threatens a family being together for Kwanza, Kayla and her brother are determined to get together in time for the holidays.
Very good book to introduce the traditions of Kwanza to children who might not know much about the holiday.
  MikalaTeague | Dec 3, 2016 |
A very cute, educational story. I appreciate that not only are the different parts explained, with examples, but that pronunciation guides are included in-text. The illustrations are nice, and this is a great introductory book for kids and adults alike. ( )
  LilyRoseShadowlyn | Nov 30, 2016 |
Summary: This children's book was about a little girl named Kayla whose family celebrates Kwanzaa every year. This year her brother Khari is not able to make it home from college due to a snowstorm and it makes Kayla sad. Her family continues on with the seven days of lighting candles and saying greetings in the Swahili language. Eventually by the last day of Kwanzaa when there is a celebration with family and friends, Khari is able to make it home and surprise Kayla. The family is back together at last to enjoy the holiday together.

Argument: This is book is a great read for young children. It teaches them about the holiday of Kwanzaa and all that it encompasses. I liked that this book had actual sayings and words in the Swahili language with English definitions. This is great for children who do not know or have not heard of Swahili and want to know more about the culture. For example, on page 3, words like "kinara, mkeka, and habari gani" are used. I also liked the detail and description this book used to talk about the rituals and traditions done on this holiday. For children who do not know anything about Kwanzaa this is key to comprehending meaning. For example, on page 3 it says, "First she put down the mkeka, a traditional straw mat. On top of the mkeka, she placed the kinara, a Kwanzaa candle holder".
The theme of this book is to explain the rituals and traditions of Kwanzaa through a young girl's eyes. It also shows the importance of family, and having them close to us during the special holidays. ( )
  stomas5 | Sep 28, 2014 |
Kayla loves celebrating Kwanzaa but is sad that her brother Khari is away at school this year. Will he make it home in time for Kwanzaa with the family?

I appreciate that this book tries to present factual information about this holiday by cloaking it in a family story. But most of the pages were chock full of didactic and almost textbook-like narrative with only a line or two thrown in about what Kayla was up to or thinking. It's a very wordy book so it's definitely meant for a slighter older audience but not one so old that the preachy tone would be a turn off - probably best for children in first or second grade. Still, I don't think it's the best Kwanzaa book out there; I would personally prefer something that was strictly factual or a book that had fewer facts but more story. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jan 18, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375803297, Paperback)

Kwanzaa is Kayla’s favorite time of year. But this year, it looks as if a heavy snowstorm will keep her big brother, Khari, from getting home in time for the festivities! Will Khari miss the celebration completely? Or will Kayla and her brother somehow find a way to be together for Kwanzaa? A perfect introduction to Kwanzaa, this book will teach children all about the traditions and practices that make it a special winter holiday.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:31 -0400)

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While celebrating Kwanzaa and its many traditions with her parents, Kayla hopes that her big brother Khari will get home from college before the holiday is over.

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