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


This exciting anthology of poems celebrates festivals all over the world. From Chinese New Year to Carnival, from Thanksgiving to Holi, and from Purnima to Diwali. with explanations of the festivals at the back of the book, and with colourful and atmospheric illustrations by Shirin Adl.

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This exciting anthology of poems celebrates festivals all over the world. From Chinese New Year to Carnival, from Thanksgiving to Holi, and from Purnima to Diwali. with explanations of the festivals at the back of the book, and with colourful and atmospheric illustrations by Shirin Adl.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent way to celebrate the diversity of festivals and seasonal celebrations with children." — Juno

"A great classroom and assembly resource and gives a super look at the diversity of world celebrations in a very refreshing way." — Parents in Touch
Publishers Weekly
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.)
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847804792
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/20/2014
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 977,469
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Debjani Chatterjee and Brian D'Arcy have contributed to many anthologies of children's poetry; they both have teaching backgrounds and are now full-time writers. D'Arcy won an Edward Lear Centenary Limerick Competition and Chatterjee's Rainbow World: Poems from Many Cultures was an EMMA Best Book of the Year finalist. Debjani has written several collections of traditional tales and she often visits schools and children's libraries as a poet and storyteller. She lives in Sheffield.

Brian D'Arcy is an Anglo-Irish poet who has contributed to many anthologies of children's poetry and has had two collections published. The winner of an Edward Lear Centenary Limerick Competition, he lives in Sheffield, U.K.

Shirin Adl was born in Harlow. A little while later she left England for Iran where she grew up. In 1994, she went back to England and studied illustration at Loughborough University. Then at the New Designers exhibition in London she won the Hallmark M&S division Talented Designer Award. She has illustrated Pea Boy and Ramadan Moon. Kamyar Adl was born and brought up in Iran. After finishing school he spent a short while at Azad University studying photography but he soon left to do his military service in the desert near the Iran/Iraq border. He never went back to university but he did some photography jobs, one of which was taking photos of old doors and windows in downtown Tehran for a famous Iranian architect. Then at the age of 25 he married Shirin Adl and moved to England. Adl currently works at the BMW factory in Oxford. Both live in Oxford.

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Read an Excerpt

The Pilgrims Came

The Pilgrims came across the sea
And never thought of you and me;
And yet its very strange the way
We think of them Thanksgiving day.

We tell their story, old and true,
Of how they sailed across the blue,
And found a new land to be free
And built their homes quite near the sea.

Every child knows well the tale
Of how they bravely turned the sail
And journeyed many a day and night,
To worship God as they thought right.

(Anonymous, USA)

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Table of Contents


The Chinese Dragon by Catherine Benson
The Pancake by Christina Rossetti
Tossing Pancakes by Nick Toczek
Ice Festival by Brian D’Arcy
Carnival by Valerie Bloom
Three Loud Cheers for Esther by Debjani Chatterjee and Brian D’Arcy
Saint Patrick’s Day by Brian D’Arcy
A Card for me Mom by Bashabi Fraser
Colours of Holi by Debjani Chatterjee
Baisakhi by Anonymous
Cherry Blossom Haiku by Uejima Onitsura and Kobayashi Issa
Easter Lily by June Masters Bacher
Grandma’s Easter Eggs by Wes Magee
Dance, Dance by Anonymous
Poe-Tree for Arbor Day by Sue Hardy-Dawson
On Buddha Purnima by Bashabi Fraser
Ode to Tomatoes (extracts) by Pablo Neruda
Harvest by Joan Poulson
Harvest Festival by Simon Fletcher
Eid Mubarak! Eid Congratulations by Kazi Nazrul Islam
Moon Cakes for Trung Thu by Mandy Coe
Hallowe-en by Jill Townsend
Diwali by Debjani Chatterjee
Hannukah by Andrea Shavick
Thanksgiving by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Pilgrims Came by Anonymous
Christmas Bells (extract) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Christmas Pudding by Anonymous
Kwanzaa by Anonymous
About the Festivals

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