Monday, December 17, 2007

Looking for Kwanzaa stories

I am looking ahead to celebrating Kwanzaa the week after Christmas with my boys. We have several books about the holiday which explain the symbols and terminology. I enjoy reading them. But it is striking me this year that I don't have any story books. There is no mythology, no poetry for children, no anecdotes, no central cast of characters. Where are the images that hold our hearts; the fantasy, the magic, the folklore, the tales of struggle, kindness, grace, strength and compassion that give depth to the ritual? Do any of you know of a Kwanzaa book that tells a story?

7 comments:

susan said...

Have you checked at Shades of Love at Shelfari. I think we have something at our library but I'm currently at my day job. I'll look and post if I see something this weekend.

mayhem said...

Try "Seven Spools of Thread." I can't remember the authors name right now. We just got it a few weeks ago, and it's our favorite Kwanzaa book so far. You're right, most of them seem to be books that explain the symbols, but very few stories.

Seven Spools of Thread is about seven brothers who argue all the time, but learn to cooperate when they have to turn thread into gold before they receive their father's inheritance. They end up making Kente cloth. And they give money to the poor in their village, and teach them how to make the cloth as well.

It's short enough to hold the attention of my 3 and 4 year old, and a great way to talk about the principles of Kwanzaa rather than the symbols.

Mayhem
http://mayhemandmagic.typepad.com

Color Online said...

mayhem,

Thanks for the recommendation.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm guessing that it's going to take time for Kwanzaa stories to pick up and gain momentum in terms of anecdotes and mythology. The holiday itself is only 41 years old! I wonder if bringing folktales that encompass one or more of the virtues of Kwanzaa from different African countries might be one way to go. Now, there's an anthology project for someone...

Cloudscome said...

Alkelda girl this is exactly what I was thinking in my morning meditation today. I am going to pull together some of my favorite African or African American folktales and stories and match them up with the Ngoza Saba (seven principles). I am going to post on this as a series in the next week or so. Thanks for the encouragement!

Anyone have a story to recommend?

web said...

I've been seeking out Kwanzaa books for my winter holidays bibliography and have also noticed the lack. I will have to see if I can get SSoT.

xemilyx said...

The only picture books I know are Habari Gani, by Sundaira Morninghouse; and Imani's Gift at Kwanzaa, by Denise Burden-Patmon and Floyd Cooper.

But there are a couple good chapter books at my library: First Grade Elves, by Joanne Ryder and Betsy Lewin; The Kwanzaa contest, by Miriam Moore; and Have a Happy, by Mildred Pitts Walter (love her book Suitcase!). And I just reviewed Sweet Thang, by Allison Whittenberg on my blog.

I'm looking forward to your list!