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Children's LiteratureThe opening chapter of this title explains that Hinduism, unlike many other faiths, has no single sacred book or founder, and then relates what is known or presumed about its early history. Subsequent chapters address core Hindu beliefs, including the caste system and food tastes and taboos; gods and goddesses; modes of worship; holy books and sacred stories; pilgrims and places of pilgrimage; festivals and family celebrations. Sidebars spotlight additional information, such as the avatars of Vishnu and brief notes on sacred texts. In addition, each chapter includes an activity—e.g., making an elephant mask in honor of the elephant-headed god Ganesh; making the bracelets that sisters give to brothers during the festival of Raksha Bandhan; a recipe for carrot halva. The text is complemented by the addition of a mythic Krishna tale, a chart showing the Hindu religious calendar in comparison with the modern Gregorian calendar, and instructions for decorating the hands with mehndi or henna paste. Also included are quotes from Hindu children and adults from Canada, India, and the United States. If there is a flaw here, it is a lack of attention to the breadth of regional diversity in Hindu practices. Still, this is an informative basic introduction from an author practiced in interpreting this material. This title is part of the series "Beliefs and Cultures." 2005, Sea to Sea, Ages 7 to 10.