BOOK REVIEW "LET'S CELEBRATE DIWALI"
Author: Anjali Joshi
Illustrator: Tim Palin
Harini, the protagonists of this beautiful book, is very excited to share her Diwali story during circle time at school. She is also a little nervous. Would her friends laugh at her for wearing her special clothes (a lengha)? Would they enjoy hearing about Diwali, the festival of lights, and how special the celebration is for many Indians? She soon finds out that has nothing to fear; she is not the only student wearing special clothes, and she is not the only one celebrating Diwali. Through circle time she learns (as does the reader) that Diwali is celebrated by many different religions. Through her little friends, she learns about Sikh, Jain and Buddhist Diwali traditions which are a little bit different than Hindu.
The author, Anjali Joshi, does a beautiful job framing the story in a setting that is familiar to most children. Circle time is a time to listen and be respectful and this is exactly what happens while the children share. The author’s passion for India’s rich culture comes through vividly as each child proudly explains the way in which their own families celebrates Diwali. Harini and her friends become the storytellers, educating us in a simple, straightforward manner about the similarities and the differences of their Diwali celebration.
The illustrations are bold and dramatic, depicting children of many races in colorful dress. There is a stubble change of style to depict the scenes of the story within the story, which works nicely.
The book contains a pronunciation guide, which is very helpful for the reader and an explanation of some of the terms used in the story.
I did notice some grammatical errors and typos and my recommendation would be that the book be professionally edited before they do more re-prints. The font could also be larger and bolder. At times the color of the illustrations bury the words.
Overall this is a beautiful and important book, which teachers, parents and librarians should add to their libraries. The sooner we educate our children about the great diversity of religions, and the respect each faith deserves, the sooner we will enjoy a world of peace.
You may purchase the book here
MCCBD. The mission of MCCBD is to raise awareness for children’s books that celebrate diversity AND to get more of these books into classrooms and libraries. Readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians are encouraged to follow along all book reviews, author visits, event details via hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.
Sponsoring the Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016!
- Lee and Low Books
- Chronicle Books
- Capstone Young Readers T
- Tuttle Publishing
- NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV
- Pomelo Books
- Author Jacqueline Woodson
- Papa Lemon Books
- Goosebottom Books
- Author Gleeson Rebello
- ShoutMouse Press
- Author Mahvash Shahegh
- China Institute.org
- Live Oak Media
Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Hosts and you can view themhere