Festivals and Celebrations – by Sandra Lawrence, illustrated by Jane Newland

      Festivals and Celebrations – by Sandra Lawrence, illustrated by Jane Newland, 360 Degrees, (9781944530105), 2017.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Non-fiction

What did you like about the book?  In about two paragraphs per entry, this short book (just under 6” tall) briefly describes forty different celebrations and festivals that take place around the world. The first section presents five different New Year’s celebrations: Hogmanay in Scotland, a fire festival in Iran, firecrackers and dragon puppet dancers in China, throwing out old pots and pans in Italy, and washing away sins and bad luck with the Songkran festival in Thailand. The rest of the book is sorted into the four seasons.  Besides the standard holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween), there are a fair share of intriguing entries with which US readers are likely unfamiliar, such as Oaxaca, Mexico where they carve giant radishes once a year, Spain’s La Tomatina tomato-throwing fight, and Japan’s lovely Tōrō nagashi ceremony of floating lights. Colorful illustrations that appear on every page add interest.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  There is no indication of the source of the information.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to children who like to learn about odd bits of information.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with non-fiction books about holidays in 394.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  7/24/17

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