Children's Lit Book Reviews

Saturday, April 3, 2010



By: Anabel Kindersley
Publisher: DK Children
Copyright: 1997
Pages: 64
Reading Level: 9-12
Genre: Non Fiction

"A rich, multicultural look at holidays around the world...It is a superb addition to country/cultural teaching units, and also makes a wonderful lead-in to writing, art, and creative-drama activities used to teach holidays. An enjoyable visual experience..."
School Library Journal

Summary: This book is a great multicultural book about celebrating diverse holidays. Children can see how different ethnics celebrate around the globe. The book, Celebrations, includes holidays that connect with Science, too. Some nationalities celebrate holidays based on the season changes and weather changes. For example, May Day is a day that is celebrated mainly in Northern Europe and has been traditionally marked as the first day of spring after a long and very harsh winter that many Eastern Europeans have to endure. The day is normally filled with much dancing and exhibition of flowers which signify new growth and life. Pictured within the book is Sophie, who is eight years old, and she is wearing a very traditional May Day dress that many young girls of her age and from her village, that is located in the English countryside, wear. There are many different activities that go along with these days such as Maypole which is a pole made from a fir tree stuck in the ground with ribbons attached, and the small children celebrate May Day by dancing around the pole, each holding to a ribbon as they dance. There are also Morris Dancers who are boisterous male folk dancers. Another great example used within this book that is more geared towards the ethical side of holidays is Diwali. Diwali is normally celebrated during October and November. It is a religious holiday that is dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity but also celebrates the return of Lord Rama from exile. He is the hero of the epic Ramayana. Associated with the holiday is Sonu, an eleven year old boy, who lives in northern India. Sonu talks about how he likes to celebrate this religious holiday with fireworks acquired from stalls set up around his village. He explains that little clay lamps called diye are lit all around homes like his to welcome the Hindu god Rama. These are two great examples of how Anabel Kindersley uses cultures taken from all over the world to educate children even here in the United States.
Who would benefit from reading this book? I definitely think all children from all walks of life would benefit from reading this book. There is much that can be taught and learned from this great educational tool. Parents and teachers alike can use this book to teach children. Its content will inform children about other children from around the world.
What problems/concerns could this book potentially cause? I don't think this book will cause any problems and that all children should read it.
My reaction:I loved reading this book. It taught me so much about different cultures and how they celebrate holidays that I didn't even know existed. What was interesting to me was how many different cultures have some of the same holidays that I and my family traditionally celebrate then shows how similarly or how differently they celebrate it as well. As a teacher, I will definitely have this book accessible on a bookshelf somewhere for my students to grab and read at anytime. I also recommend this book to all parents as a great read-along book for children.
posted by Jon Dale at 3:29 PM


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