Reviews for Let's Celebrate! : Festival Poems from Around the World


Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
With 24 poems--by Neruda, Longfellow, Emerson and Issa, as well as many contemporary children's poets from Britain and the United States--this collection focuses on holidays celebrated in the United Kingdom and the United States. Arranged month by month, it includes many cultural groups that now live in these places. Because it was published in the United Kingdom, there are some omissions that U.S. audiences will notice. While La Tomatima, a Spanish tomato-throwing festival, is included (with a Neruda poem that mentions Chile), there are no Latin American festivals represented. Native Americans are left out too, although there are a few children wearing feathers in the Thanksgiving picture, an illustration that does feature a multiracial celebration. Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Jews are all represented. The busily populated collage, watercolor and colored-pencil pictures are joyful and often humorous, but the snowman in the Hanukkah illustration that wears payes (side curls worn by Hasidic men) and a fedora may strike some as strange, and the Caribbean Carnival dancers may seem scantily clad (although realistic). The descriptions of the holidays are informative, although some additional information about the various calendars and a bibliography would be helpful. Although the poems vary in quality, and few really stand out, this collection will enliven holiday units and programs in schools, libraries and religious institutions. (Poetry. 6-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #3

Chatterjee and D'Arcy present a collection of nearly 30 poems that they "hope captures something of the world's diversity." Works by Rossetti, Neruda, and Emerson (respectively tied to Pancake Day, the Spanish "food fight festival" of La Tomatina, and Thanksgiving) join contemporary works (including some from the editors), as well as anonymous and traditional offerings. Adl works in mixed media, using crinkled paper for backgrounds and fabric elements that bring texture and detail to the sweaters, saris, and headscarves worn by her friendly cartoon figures. Details about each festival appear in an appendix, allowing the spreads to focus on celebration. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 November

Gr 1-4--Twenty-four festivals are presented through poetry in different forms, some of which may be new to readers. The celebrations presented are a mix of religious and secular, and each one is briefly explained in the back matter. The selections range from classics by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Pablo Neruda to entries by "Anonymous" and the editors of the book; most of them have been previously published. Some of the festivals have two poems dedicated to them while others have only one. The poetry is diverse simply by the nature of the subject, but certain entries, such as Bashabi Fraser's "A Card for me Mom," address poignancy in issues other than the celebration (here, a girl laments that none of the mothers pictured on the Mother's Day cards look like her own mom). Colorful, mixed-media illustrations are bright and appealing. For a mix of poetry and plenty of additional information about dates and holidays, Lee Bennett Hopkins's Days to Celebrate (Greenwillow, 2004) fits the bill. Let's Celebrate! is a supplemental purchase.--Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City

[Page 88]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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