Gr 2–6—This celebration of holidays in several cultures is diversity at its finest. Twenty-five holidays are presented in order of the Western calendar year, January to December, with a different contributor for each writing about favorite ways to celebrate. One side of each spread gives a tiny bio about the contributing author, why they love this holiday, and a little background on the holiday itself. The facing page has a recipe and a celebration idea provided by the contributor. The recipes have detailed instructions and ingredient lists; a note at the beginning of the book tells readers that adult supervision is essential. A massive variety of ingredients representing foods from around the globe are featured, but substitutes are often included. Celebration suggestions range from prompts such as asking for an elder's blessing to creating nature art. A few of the crafts are less accessible, either because they do not come with detailed instructions or because they call for items such as basket-weaving reed that may be difficult to locate. Each spread is packed with delightful illustrations of the authors, a diverse cast celebrating the holiday, and depictions of the recipe and craft. The final spreads discuss birthday traditions across cultures, ideas for learning about other holidays, and full bios of the contributors that include how to find them online. Even if young readers don't create a single craft or recipe, they will come away educated and excited about the beautiful ways different cultures celebrate special days. VERDICT Bursting with color and joy, this book vibrantly shines with life, hope, and diversity. Recommended for purchase.—Emily Beasley
This illustrated treasury of holidays shares personal stories, recipes, and crafts for families along with birthday celebration ideas from around the world.
This compact yet expansive, scrapbook-style compendium starts with an overview of celebrations. A general note advises that the “recipes and activities in this book are designed for children and adults to do together,” and contributors—among them authors S.K. Ali and Lesléa Newman, TV presenter Sonali Shah, and fashion designer Saeed Al-Rubeyi—are further outlined in the backmatter. The pages move mostly chronologically through the calendar year. Secular International Women’s Day on March 8 is followed by the Hindu celebration of Holi, marked as taking place in “February or March,” for example. Each entry includes a personal reflection from a contributor, a recipe, and an activity. The book offers opportunities for career exploration, as the contributors discuss their work in, for instance, garden design, basketry, and music. Use of cursive text may be difficult for some to read, though it is mixed in with typewriter font. The information is presented in an organized and welcoming manner. Some recipes have quick prep times, while others demand a larger investment. Among the activities, the open-ended “Make Your Own Altar” for Day of the Dead is balanced by exacting instructions for creating a woven heart for Valentine’s Day. Bright, appealing illustrations feature a diverse group of people observing holidays. The ending suggests new beginnings, as questions are offered for kids to ask the people around them about the holidays they enjoy. (This book was reviewed digitally.)
Builds curiosity through stories, activities, and questions. (Informational picture/activity book. 5-11)