Get book recommendations, tips & advice, and more tailored to your child's age.

Thank You!

The perfect book picks are on their way.

You're all set!

Pre-K

Growing Reader

Tween

10 Heartfelt Books to Give as Kwanzaa Gifts

by Dena McMurdie

kwanzaa gifts

Kwanzaa was first observed in the United States in 1966, and since then has grown in popularity. Now, Kwanzaa is celebrated by millions of people. The week-long holiday honors principles such as unity, creativity, faith, and community, as well as African heritage . Some people exchange gifts like books or handmade items to commemorate the holiday.

As we all know, books make the best gifts, so we put together this list of books with heartfelt stories and messages. Like Kwanzaa itself, the books on this list celebrate values such as family and togetherness. Whether you’re looking for a book for a pre-k reader or a tween, here are some gift-worthy options.

  • I am Brave: A Little Book About Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

    Also available from:

    Martin Luther King Jr. had a tremendous impact on our society. Now, even the smallest of readers can learn about this influential man and his dream for equality in America. Filled with quick biographical facts, this sturdy board book makes a wonderful Kwanzaa gift for toddlers.

    (Ages 2 - 5)

    Also available from:
  • Last Stop on Market Street

    by Matt de la Peña

    Also available from:

    A compelling story about kindness, family, and looking on the bright side, this book has received many well-deserved awards including a Newbery Medal and a Caldecott Honor Award. A grandmother passes on her wisdom and upbeat outlook on life to her grandson as they ride a bus through the city.

    (Ages 3 - 5)

    Also available from:
  • Together for Kwanzaa

    by Juwanda G. Ford and Shelly Hehenberger

    Also available from:

    When a snowstorm threatens to keep Kayla's older brother from making it home for Kwanzaa, she figures out a way for their family to be together. Through this heartwarming story, readers will learn about the special holiday and the principles of African heritage it honors.

    (Ages 3 - 7)

    Also available from:
  • The Night is Yours

    by Abdul-Razak Zachariah, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

    Also available from:

    Bursting with nostalgia, this picture book is a love letter to the magic of childhood. By the light of the moon, Amani and her friends play hide-and-seek in her apartment. This simple childhood game gives Amani's father the chance to recognize her self-confidence, strength, and joy.

    (Ages 3 - 7)

    Also available from:
  • Double Bass Blues

    by Andrea J. Loney, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez

    Also available from:

    Celebrate the transforming power of music with this touching story. At school, Nic is praised for his skill on the double bass cello. But as he makes his way home, the unwieldy instrument draws unwanted attention. When he arrives at his granddaddy's apartment, Nic is rewarded with a surprise that makes his troubles fade to the background.

    (Ages 4 - 8)

    Also available from:
  • Hair Love

    by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison

    Also available from:

    Capturing the special bond that exists between a daughter and her father, this endearing picture book is guaranteed to melt your heart. When Zuri needs an extra-special hairstyle to surprise her mom, her daddy steps up to help. Even though her hair is tough to tame, Zuri's daddy does his very best to make her (and her hair) happy.

    (Ages 4 - 8)

    Also available from:
  • What is Given from the Heart

    by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by April Harrison

    Also available from:

    In Patricia C. McKissack's final picture book, she delivers a poignant and powerful story of family, love, community, and selfless giving. James and his mother have fallen on hard times, but when another family from church loses their home in a fire, James wants to help. Even though he doesn't have much, James gives a meaningful gift to the daughter of the other family.

    (Ages 4 - 8)

    Also available from:
  • The Snowy Day

    by Ezra Jack Keats

    Also available from:

    Peter's charming story of his day in the snow has been a reader favorite for over half a century. Tag along as he plays, makes tracks, and explores his snow-covered city. Ezra Jack Keats's classic picture book is highly giftable and a must-have for every child's bookshelf.

    (Ages 5 - 8)

    Also available from:
  • Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations

    by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Keith Mallett

    Also available from:

    Learn the history and significance of the Black National Anthem when you read this inspiring book. First performed in 1900 by a choir of 500 African American students, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" has been a beloved song for generations. This beautifully illustrated picture book commemorates the hymn, its history, and the impact it's had on families and communities for more than a century.

    (Ages 5 - 8)

    Also available from:
  • Brown Girl Dreaming

    by Jacqueline Woodson

    Also available from:

    If you want to give a meaningful gift about inner strength and courage, you can't go wrong with this National Book Award- and Newbery Honor-winning novel. Told through vivid poetry, this autobiographical book recounts the author's childhood as she learns about race, religion, the civil rights movement, and her love for telling stories.

    (Ages 10+)

    Also available from: