Reviewed by Ana-Maria Leasa for Readers’ Favorite
I is for Imani! by Kerice Robinson is a children’s book that teaches the alphabet from the Kwanzaa celebration perspective. Throughout this book, kids not only learn the alphabet but also interesting and new facts about the Kwanzaa celebration. Each of the 26 letters of the alphabet is accompanied by one or two words that start with the respective letter, together with an interesting fact about that word related to the Kwanzaa celebration. For example, I for Imani, representing the 7th principle of Kwanzaa, which means faith; M for Mkeka, which represents a table mat made from cloth or straw; and Z for Zawadi, which means gift in Swahili and is given on the 7th day of Kwanzaa. These are a few of the fun new words and facts learned throughout this book.
One of the things I liked about I is for Imani! by Kerice Robinson is the beautiful illustrations that accompany each word, representing specific actions, objects, or characters. In each illustration, the characters display to perfection the emotion, message, and action intended. In doing so, the author provided me with a better understanding and an accurate mental image of words unknown to me. For example, the word Kinara in Kwanzaa means candleholder, and I didn’t know how it looked until I read this book. I also liked the additional how-to-pronounce examples provided for a few of the words, like the word Ujima (oo-GEE-mah). I found myself intrigued and entertained by the difference between how the word is written and how the word is pronounced.