Reviews for Calendar Of Festivals : Celebrations From Around The World


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 September 1998
Ages 8^-12. Bright greeting-card colors and patterned borders set the tone for this compendium of celebrations that covers the year from Jewish Purim in early March to the Russian Frost King/Snow Maiden in December. "How Krishna Stole the Butter" and the life of the Buddha lead into the Chinese and Japanese legend "The Oxherd and the Weaving Maiden" and the changeling Halloween tale from the west of Ireland. The tales are lively in the retelling, although they hold no sense of the sacred. The text is straightforward--the Christian Christmas story comes straight from the New Testament Gospels--and a fair number of sentences seem to end in a breathless exclamation point. Useful for looking at the many ways cultures seek to find an answer to why things are the way they are and for tracing the universal human impulse toward celebration. Sources appended. ((Reviewed September 15, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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ForeWord Reviews 1998 November
Eight festivals are featured in this colorful, attractively designed book. Arranged chronologically by calendar year, the book starts with Purim, a Jewish Holiday in March, and ends with a Russian New YearÆs story. Each holiday is described and its methods of celebrations are discussed in one page. A story then follows which either explains the origins of the celebration or which may be told as part of festivities. The one-page introductions are breezy and accessible. They whet the readerÆs appetite for more information about the varied holidays, which is only partially satiated by the stories. The stories themselves provide an interesting cross section of biblical, mythic and folklore tales. Collected as they are in one title, a reader can appreciate how stores are a central focus of any cultural or religious celebration and are a pleasurable source of knowledge to a young audience. There is a unifying brightness and precision to the watercolor illustrations even as the characters change for each unique tale. Be it Buddhist or Caribbean, the reader will gain a sense of the people and their style of dress through the artwork. This is a collection that could easily be used throughout the year and with elementary age children to awaken them to a wide variety of beliefs. Martha Topol Copyright 1999 ForeWord Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1998 December
K-Gr 5-Legends and folktales associated with eight different festivals from around the world are arranged in chronological order. Each story is introduced by a single page of background. Holi is represented by "How Krishna Stole the Butter." "The Life of the Buddha" is the story for Vesak, while the tale of "The Oxherd and the Weaving Maiden" accompanies the Japanese festival of Tanabata. The tale of Jamie Freel, here called "The Halloween Changeling," is the selection for Halloween. Kwanzaa is represented by a Caribbean story, "How the Warau People Come Down to Earth." Finally, the Russian "Father Frost" rewards a poor girl and destroys her greedy, rude stepsister in an offering for the New Year. The retellings are fluent and readable, and could be used for storytelling. This handsome book has detailed watercolor illustrations on every page. Sources for the stories are given at the back. Louisa Campbell's A World of Holidays (Silver Moon, 1993) includes celebrations in Japan, Pakistan, Namibia, Canada, and Mexico, but the stories deal with contemporary children. A good addition to folklore and holiday sections, and especially valuable for the less-familiar festivals included.-Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 1998 School Library Journal

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