Share this Kwanzaa story with your family or in the classroom. "Very bright, playful, textured pictures capture the spirit of community that is the essence of the holiday. The two final pages about 'The Nguzo Saba––The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa' will take kids back to the story to find the holiday message in action."*
The story of Li'l Rabbit captures the true meaning of Kwanzaa—coming together to help others. Donna L. Washington's story, with art from Shane W. Evans (Chocolate Me!), provides a fun introduction to the holiday.
Li'l Rabbit is not having a very good Kwanzaa. Granna Rabbit is sick, and so his family won't celebrate his favorite part of Kwanzaa this year: a big feast called Karamu.
Li'l Rabbit knows what to do! He'll find Granna Rabbit a special treat for Karamu so she can celebrate anyway.
He looks under a pile of logs, in the field, and in the pond and along the way meets Groundhog, Momma Field Mouse, and the frogs—but he doesn't find anything for Granna Rabbit.
Maybe I'm just too little to help Granna Rabbit celebrate Kwanzaa, Li'l Rabbit thinks. Or maybe he just needs a little help from his family and friends.
About the Author
Donna L. Washington is a professional storyteller, multiple-award-winning recording artist, and author. She performs all over the country at festivals, schools, and libraries and gives workshops for parents and educators as well. Her many storytelling recordings have received Gold and Silver Parents' Choice Awards, Storytelling World Awards, iParenting Awards, Children's Music Web Awards, National Parenting Publications Awards Honors, and many more. Ms. Washington lives with her husband, two children, and two cats in Durham, North Carolina.
Shane W. Evans is the illustrator of more than thirty picture books for children, including The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith, a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winner, and the author and illustrator of Olu's Dream. He has exhibited his art in West Africa and Paris and in Chicago, New York, and other major U.S. cities. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he runs Dream Studio, a community art space.
"Feeling too small to be of any use, Li’l Rabbit leaves the house to find something special for his sick grandmother during Karamu, a Kwanzaa feast. Each animal he encounters (Momma Oriole, Groundhog, frogs, etc.) has been on the receiving end of Granna Rabbit’s generosity in the past and wants to help in some way. Without realizing it, Li’l Rabbit brings together a whole community for the 'the best Karamu ever.' Sweetly capturing the spirit of the season, the story comes in handy as a lovely supplement to resources that provide straightforward facts about Kwanzaa."
— School Library Journal (starred review)
"Li'l Rabbit gets a gentle lesson in the meaning of the holiday as he wanders through the neighborhood in search of something to help his grandmother feel better. Evans's fanciful paintings feature a host of helpful animal characters, each imaginatively dressed and posed along the route of Li'l Rabbit's quest. The closing Karamu is a feast of food and friendship. Harambee!"
— The Horn Book
"From bespectacled Poppa Squirrel reading in a tree and carpenter Groundhog with his toolbelt to Momma Field Mouse pulling her children in a wagon, the characters in Evans' very bright, playful, textured pictures capture the spirit of community that is the essence of the holiday. The two final pages about 'The Nguzo Saba––The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa' will take kids back to the story to find the holiday message in action."