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What do Hindus believe? Where do they pray and what are the major Hindu festivals? Where and when did Hinduism begin?

This series takes an exciting look at religion, history, and culture through the everyday lives of people from all over the world. Using color photographs and detailed illustrations, each book helps young people ask questions and leads them toward a better understanding of a particular historical era, religion, or culture.


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What do Hindus believe? Where do they pray and what are the major Hindu festivals? Where and when did Hinduism begin?

This series takes an exciting look at religion, history, and culture through the everyday lives of people from all over the world. Using color photographs and detailed illustrations, each book helps young people ask questions and leads them toward a better understanding of a particular historical era, religion, or culture.

Anita Ganeri was born in Calcutta, India. She graduated from Cambridge University and earned an M.A. in Indian studies. She is the author of many information books for young people.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This lively primer provides brief but memorable snapshots of various world religions, from both past and present. A global approach suggesting that "most religions now try to live and work more peacefully together" places Ganeri's work in context for young readers who are exploring their own faith and are hopefully striving to be tolerant of others' beliefs. From the Olympians of Ancient Greece to modern Hindus, Muslims and Amish, the profiles here range across the religious spectrum. In a well-paced, straightforward style, Ganeri discusses each religion's beliefs, symbols, sacred texts, important rites and major festivals. She also introduces readers to commonly-held perceptions about many religious groups, such as the charge that new members of religious cults are brainwashed. Consistently intriguing color photographs and occasional illustrations energize the book's design, and the longish captions accompanying the artwork supply significant and compelling factual information. A glossary and index make investigating a specific topic a breeze, and, while Ganeri's volume is far from encyclopedic, it will whet young people's appetites for further research. Ages 7-up (Mar.) FYI: Ganeri has also contributed the volume What Do We Know About Hinduism? to the "What Do We Know About" series from Peter Bedrick Books. The series' nonfiction titles look at the culture, history, and religion of people from all over the world. Other religions titles are: What Do We Know About Judaism?, by Doreen Fine, and What Do We Know About Sikhism?, by Beryl Dhanjal. (Peter Bedrick Books, each $18.95, ISBN 0-87226-385-1; -386-X; -387-8, ages 7-up, Jan.)
VOYA - Judy Ehrenstein
Originally published in England, these three books in the What Do We Know About...? series follow a general outline, presented in double-page spreads, of briefly defining who the religious practitioners are, establishing a timeline, and explaining the historical events marking the beginning of the religion. The belief structure, including family practices, lifecycle events, and holidays follows, along with a look at religious objects, holy places, and leaders. The cultural aspects of each religion are introduced through their art, music, and stories. Color illustrations and photographs create a visually appealing book. The book on Judaism suffers from inaccuracies and bias. The Jewish world, except for a brief mention of Conservative Judaism on one page which seems to have been written for the American edition, is divided only into Orthodox and "Reformed" (the correct term is "Reform"), with the Orthodox point of view receiving more emphasis and almost a nod of sole legitimacy in the text. Reconstructionism, a growing movement begun in the U. S. in the 1920s, remains completely unmentioned, although it is responsible for the introduction of the bat mitzvah into modern Jewish life. The author succeeds when presenting aspects common to all movements: holidays, religious objects, lifecycle events, and Israel. Doctrine differs between the movements and actual practice even more, something hard to present in a forty-five page book. The books on Sikhism and Hinduism offer readers a look into two religions they may not know much about. While in all three books there is a recognition that there is a range of practice, it is seen much more clearly in these two books on religions from India. Maps illustrate where practitioners live, showing the worldwide spread of non-Christian religions. Differences from the Judeo-Christian practices that readers may be familiar with are explained along with similarities. The layout in this series is modeled on the "Eyewitness" style, although with more text and a better progression for the eye to follow. The books on the two Eastern religions may find their places in collections, but the book on Judaism should be passed over in favor of one with a more impartial and American focus. Glossary, Index, Illustrations, Photos, Maps, Chronology included. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Ganeri is known for her numerous nonfiction educational titles about a variety of subjects, many of them related to the Indian subcontinent. Here she offers an introduction to Hinduism, followed by chapters about common Hindu beliefs, the pantheon of gods and goddesses, worship practices, a visit to a temple, priests and holy people, sacred texts, places of pilgrimage, family celebrations, festivals, and the spread of Hinduism around the world as a result of migrations. Sidebars explain concepts, define terms, and offer selected quotations from practicing Hindus. A double-page spread tells the story of Rama and Sita that is so central to Hindu mythological traditions. An additional spread at the end offers directions for making a finger-puppet theater to tell the story. The puppets, to be traced or reproduced from line drawings provided on the page, are miniature versions of the large multimedia puppets commonly seen in celebrations in some parts of India. A glossary, an index, and a note to parents and teachers can be found in the back matter. One caption, for the picture of the elephant-headed god Ganesha, contains a minor error. He is said to be holding a broken pen. In fact the image in the picture does not show an implement in the hand that is sometimes seen to hold, not a pen, but a broken tusk. Still, this is an accessible introduction that negotiates the complexities of this set of ancient and still vibrant traditions. This library-bound book is part of the publisher's "World of Faiths" series (other titles are Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, and Buddhism).
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Fine's wide-ranging exposition of Judaism and the Jewish way of life is clearly written and beautifully illustrated. Unfortunately, its British perspective will present problems for North American readers. The author tends to present in juxtaposition the most extreme stands of Orthodox and Reform Jewry. Conservative Judaism, a major movement in this country, is only briefly mentioned. This perspective leads Fine to offer incomplete information on the status of women as rabbis; in fact, Conservative Judaism, as well as Reform, ordains women. For readers who are not familiar with Hinduism, Ganeri provides a many-sided portrait of "one of the oldest and largest religions in the world." Core beliefs are presented: reincarnation, salvation through living a good life, devotion to gods and goddesses. The author discusses the Sacred Scriptures, the role of Holy Men, modes of worship, yoga, and meditation. She stresses that Hinduism is not a "fixed, formal" religion, but rather a way of life expressed in life-cycle events, festivals, stories, classical art, music and dance, and dietary preferences. In both books, double-page chapters address specific questions, e.g., "How do Jewish families live?" or "Which are the Hindus' sacred books?" The spreads are profusely illustrated with full-color photos and illustrations; except for introductory paragraphs, the texts are simply captions for the artwork. Additional titles that present very broad surveys.-Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595662101
  • Publisher: QEB Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Series: World of Faiths
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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