Posted in African Diaspora, Books and Reading, holiday

Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review for “I is for Imani”

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.

I is for Imani - book cover
Posted in Activity, Arts and Crafts, Books and Reading, holiday

Groundhog’s Day Classroom Activities!

Groundhog's day

Reading books, arts & crafts, writing stories, and making themed treats are great classroom activities for Groundhog’s Day.

dirt pie recipe

For Groundhog’s Day make some “Dirt Pie”. Dirt Pie is a chocolate pudding with oreo cookies. Add some gummy worms to add to the groundhog digging theme and make the sweet treat even sweeter.

Posted in Activity, holiday

7 Ways Celebrate Lunar New Year in the Classroom

red in classroom

1. Wear red to class.

Red is the color for good luck in China. 

Mandarin oranges china

2. Have mandarin oranges for a snack.

Two of the most common food symbols of the Chinese New Year are tangerines and oranges. Whereas tangerines represent wealth, oranges are a popular symbol of good luck.

chinese new year

3. Discuss culture and holidays.

Compare the Lunar New Year Celebration to the New Year Celebrations that the families of children in your class have.

Paper Dragons

5. Arts and craft: Dance Festival with Paper Dragons.

The dragon is a Chinese symbol of power and good fortune, many areas of the country have dragon dancing, during which a long, colorful dragon puppet is paraded through the streets. You can create dragon crafts to parade around the classroom.

chinese decoration on door

6. Decorate the classroom with Chinese-themed art.

Compare the Lunar New Year Celebration to the New Year Celebrations that the families of children in your class have.

Posted in holiday

25 Days of Christmas Children’s Books

Make Christmas educational and fun with this holiday tradition. Unwrap a book a day, read 25 children’s storybooks, one for each day in December before Christmas. To participate wrap 25 children’s picture books in gift wrap and let the children choose a book to unwrap every day. Read the book as a bedtime story or during a structural storytime. I enjoy the glow in a child’s eyes when they open up a gift, the glow is even brighter when they listen to a story about the magic of Christmas. This can be done at home, church, or a traditional school (please be understanding of parents who do not celebrate holidays if you plan to do a Christmas book reading event at your school). #25DaysofChristmasBooks

Follow us on Instagram to see what books from this list make it to our Christmas Unwrapping.


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Christmas cats coloring page
Posted in Books and Reading, holiday

An African American Christmas Book List

Celebrate a diverse Christmas with these storybooks for kids. These children’s picture books feature African American characters and even a black Santa. This list will help you celebrate the importance of Black characters and families depicted in a positive light through Christmas stories.

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Christmas cats coloring page
Parker's elf

Parker’s Elf: A book about managing emotions by Martha Sylla Underwood

Determined to prove that he has mastered his emotions and is secretly guided by a magical Christmas elf, Parker journeys through a series of events to remind his parents of the lessons he’s learned.

Purchase on Amazon

Danny's Christmas list

Danny’s Christmas List by Tieska Jumbo

When Danny and his family visit a local Christmas market, he finds himself in a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with Santa.

Purchase on Amazon

A piece of black cake for Santa

A Piece of Black Cake for Santa by Yolanda T. Marshall and illustrated by Subi Bosa

Femi and her friends plan to leave some traditional Caribbean treats out for Santa, including Black Cake.

Purchase on Amazon

The night before christmas

The Night Before Christmas: An African American Retelling written by Noland Nixon and Illustrated by Angela Y. Nixon

A retelling of Clement Moore’s classic holiday poem, complemented with illustrations of African American characters.

Purchase on Amazon

count with santa

Count with Santa: A fun Christmas Counting Book by Angela Y. Nixon

Count all of the gifts and toys that Santa will bring.

Purchase on Amazon

Marcus and Mikayla wait for Santa

Marcus and Mikayla Wait for Santa: An African American Christmas Book for Kids by Sunny Mai

Children get to stay awake with Marcus and Mikayla as they wait for Santa.

Purchase on Amazon

The Day Santa Got sick

The Day Santa Got Sick by Deanne Samuels and illustrated by Oliver Kryzz Bundoc

What happens if Santa can not drive the sleigh on Christmas eve? Read “The Day Santa Got Sick” to find out how toys are delivered when Santa is sick.

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I got the Christmas Spirit

I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison and Frank Morrison

Explore the joys of the holiday season with this beautifully illustrated book.

Purchase on Amazon

Santa's Secret

Santa’s Secret by Britney Harris

In a fun-filled adventure to the North Pole Carson finds out that Santa has one huge magical secret.

Purchase on Amazon


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Posted in Books and Reading, holiday

The Ultimate List of Fun and Adventurous Christmas Books for Kids

The Elf who couldn't read

Our 2021 Christmas book highlight is “The Elf who couldn’t Read” written by Sonica Ellis and illustrated by Harriet Rodis.

Perfectly themed for Christmas “The Elf who couldn’t Read” helps children overcome their reading fears as they go on a Christmas adventure with Jingles. Jingles is tasked with helping Santa read the Christmas list, however, Jingles does not know how to read yet. Young readers get to help Jingles sound out words. A well-written story that will keep children engaged during Christmas storytime.

Get your copy on Amazon. FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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Christmas cats coloring page


Posted in Books and Reading, holiday, phonics, Reading

Press Release “I is for Imani: A Kwanzaa Alphabet Book”

I is for Imani

Unabashed Kids Media is happy to announce the release of “I is for Imani!: A Kwanzaa Alphabet Book” written by Kerice Robinson. Learn about the celebration of Kwanzaa with this brightly colored holiday letter book. Children will go through each letter in the alphabet and learn how it relates to the principles of Kwanzaa.

“I is for Imani” teaches kids about Kwanzaa in a fun and easy to digest way. Simple ABCs of Kwanzaa book. The book has a word for every letter in the alphabet and relates the words to Kwanzaa. The book also gives a simple and kid-friendly definition of each word. Purchase on Amazon or Google Play.

Take a Peek Inside: “I is for Imani!”

I is for Imani: A Kwanzaa Alphabet Book
Take a peek inside “I is for Imani”

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