Celebrate Kwanzaa with Boots and Her Kittens
Celebra Kwanzaa con Botitas y sus gatitos


Story: An African-American fam­ily gets together to cel­e­brate Kwan­zaa, but will the cel­e­bra­tion be spoiled because their beloved cat, Boots, is miss­ing? The fam­ily sets off on a quest to find Boots by putting the seven val­ues cel­e­brated in Kwan­zaa into practice.

Non-fiction: An overview of the his­tory of Kawan­zaa and a descrip­tion of the dif­fer­ent aspects of its cel­e­bra­tion. Illus­trated with numer­ous infor­ma­tive photographs.


This was an important book to write. We did a great deal of research and were fascinated by the determination and strength of the African American culture. The festivity that Maulana Karenga created in 1966 brought to me a better understanding of the reality I had seen and lived in Detroit in 1963.

Each of the val­ues cel­e­brated in Kwan­zaa: Unity, Self-determination, sol­i­dar­ity, work­ing together to achieve goals, cre­ativ­ity and the belief in one’s own dreams are val­ues that I hold dear. It was a won­der­ful chal­lenge to cre­ate a story that could demon­strate these val­ues to chil­dren with­out appear­ing like a les­son, and hold­ing the inter­est of the story.

Alma Flor and I brain­stormed quite a bit to come up with this story, and I believe we suc­ceeded. We were very pleased with the result and with the charm­ing illus­tra­tions by Vale­ria Docampo.

Many read­ers are intrigued about how two authors col­lab­o­rate to write a book. If you share this curios­ity you may enjoy read­ing how I explain this expe­ri­ence in the chap­ter entitled “Writ­ing in Col­lab­o­ra­tion: One plus One is One or Two” in the book Alma Flor Ada and You, vol­ume II pub­lished by Libraries Unlimited.