Gr 4-7 These titles, each of which includes a craft and numerous full-color, full-page illustrations, discuss the Muslim observance of Ramadan and the Hindu holiday of Diwali. Both books are far longer and more detailed than anything else in print for children on this subject. Unfortunately, this does not make them outstanding in any way. Both omit key terms from their glossaries, and there are no pronunciation guides. They contain unclear statements (for example, "About 65 percent of the population [of South Africa] is Hindu"); inconsistencies (including the use of both "CE" and "AD" with reference to time); and mistakes (in Ramadan , Isaac is named as the son that Abraham was commanded to sacrifice, whereas Muslims believe that it was Ishmael); and footnoting is often inaccurate. The maps are sloppily drawn and incomplete. The writing in Ramadan is choppy and has surprisingly little depth considering its length. Also, the final chapter and large portions of two others focus on Islamic extremism and the religion's connection with politics and terrorism, which, while interesting, is hardly relevant to the series. Diwali is wordy and repetitious, and much of the material is no more than filler. Plum-Ucci insultingly calls Sikhs "a group of Hindu worshipers" instead of acknowledging them as having their own religion. (Jains also observe Diwali, a fact she omits.)-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Celebrate Diwaliby Carol Plum-Ucci
Known as the "Holiday of Lights," Diwali is often considered the most important festival to people of the Hindu faith. Temples, homes, and businesses burn brightly with lights and candles during the five-day celebration. People wear colorful new clothes, prepare tasty dishes, and usher in the Hindu New Year with music, gifts, and happy hearts. Join author Carol Plum-Ucci and learn about the myths and rich history behind Diwali, the symbols of the holiday, and how it is celebrated today.
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