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Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations

Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations

3.0 1
by Rondina, Oakley (Illustrator)

Throughout the year and around the globe, people use light —- candles, bonfires, lanterns and fireworks —- to celebrate special occasions. This richly illustrated book is an illuminating tour of the world's brightest and warmest festivities.


Throughout the year and around the globe, people use light —- candles, bonfires, lanterns and fireworks —- to celebrate special occasions. This richly illustrated book is an illuminating tour of the world's brightest and warmest festivities.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From the children’s festival of Tet Trung Thu in Vietnam to the holy month of Ramadan, Rondina and Oakley offer an informative, month-by-month look at global holidays, both religious and secular. A February/March spread highlights Las Fallas, a festival honoring Saint Joseph in Valencia, Spain, as well as the Lenten Carnival in Martinique; a July spread covers independence celebrations in six countries, including Argentina, Belgium, and France. Oakley’s acrylic paintings have a weathered quality that recalls faded murals, while conjuring appropriately festive atmospheres for each occasion. Ages 7–10. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Around the world, people celebrate different events during the year. Using light as a theme, Rondina briefly describes holidays and festivals. After the introduction, she begins with information about the lunar and Gregorian calendars. Readers will find introductory information about traditions and celebrations beginning in January and, continuing through the year until December. A child's perspective is used to describe some of the celebrations. For example, for Up Helly Aa (celebrated in January), Sophie, from Shetland Islands, Scotland, tells about building a ship and the celebratory procession. In the month of June, Valentina, from Cusco, Peru, shares general information about Inti Raymi or the Festival of the Sun. Throughout the book, there are illustrations that have a yellowish or bluish cast to them. The bold print words in the main text are defined in the glossary at the back of the book. The author cites different people who lent their expertise on the information. Children may need to use other resources for a deeper understanding of cultural events, holidays, traditional clothing, and other details for the celebrations. This book has just a general description that may springboard into further exploration. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—On each spread, a fictional child introduces one festival, and on the facing page a festival from a different area of the world is described in straight nonfiction. For example, for January readers meet Sophie from Scotland who introduces Up Helly Aa, a fire festival that the Scots participate in memory of their Viking heritage. It faces a description of the Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony in Canada. Each spread is accompanied by a small illustration of the child, a large illustration depicting the festival, and another small picture showing an aspect of the second festival. Some illustrations are more successful than others, mainly due to the color choice. For example, the depiction of the woman participating in the Indian festival of Holi does not portray the vibrant colors associated with it. Overall, 31 festivals are discussed, ranging from the familiar (Christmas) to the less familiar (Tet Trung Thu). Given the limited amount of information present, this is strictly an additional purchase.—Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Lights, bonfires, fireworks and candles: All are used throughout the world to celebrate a great range of holidays. As the book moves through the year, a child introduces himself or herself and then provides information on such celebrations as Chinese New Year; St. Joseph's Day in Valencia, Spain, when Las Fallas is celebrated with the burning of large puppets; Nowruz, a pre-Islamic New Year festival in Iran when people jump over bonfires to bring good luck in the coming year; and Inti Raymi, the Peruvian sun festival. The spread for July brings together Independence Day celebrations from several countries, including Canada, the United States, Argentina, the Bahamas, France and Belgium. Although light is mentioned in some of these short descriptions, it's not necessarily a focal point. The information provided about the holidays is accurate but limited, and there are no sources, maps or related activities. The acrylic and ink illustrations are garishly intense, and although digital techniques are also used, they have an unattractively retro look. The red circles on many people's cheeks are a very artificial device. This book will be useful as a starting point for teachers, librarians and students who want to search out some interesting festivals to compare and contrast, but it's not as enlightening as it could be. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Product Details

Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.40(d)
NC1090L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Catherine Rondina has written numerous children's books and teaches the art of writing nonfiction. She is the author of Don't Touch That Toad and Other Strange Things Adults Tell You. Catherine lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Jacqui Oakley is a professional illustrator specializing in portraiture and hand- lettering. She has done work for clients such as Rolling Stone, Spin, The Boston Globe, LA Weekly and The Atlantic. In addition to her work as a freelance illustrator, she is also an instructor at OCAD University in Toronto. She has received various awards for her work, such as the American Illustration Award and the Applied Arts Illustration Award. Born in Canada, Jacqui spent her formative years living in Bahrain, Zambia, England and Libya. She currently lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario.

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Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Andrea_C More than 1 year ago
As a Montessori teacher, I really like this book! In December, we often have Festivals of Light, to celebrate the four major holidays. But celebrations using light occur all throughout the year. This book is a great resource for the teacher who is looking for more cultural studies to include. It's also great for the elementary-aged student who is researching them. Most of the commonly known celebrations are included, with a few that I have never heard of before. Each festival is introduced by a kid who lives in that country, with a brief description of it. Every month and most continents are represented. The brief intros may encourage kids to research those that pique their interest. There isn't enough information to provide a full template for creating your own celebration. Illustrations are full of color and excitement to represent each culture and celebration. It makes for a good addition to a kid's library. I received an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.