The Great Day Series was initiated with Moshe Shamir's Great Day in Israel (160 J-88). Its general purpose is to introduce important national festivals within the framework of individual stories. How the problems of particular children are wrapped in the events of the festival enlivens what would otherwise be straight exposition. The Annual Boys' Festival is a holiday all the boys of Tokyo anticipate with delight. It means bathing in special waters, receiving gifts and enjoying them outdoors. Because Taro is smaller than his younger brother, he fears receiving a smaller windfish kite. When the gift reflects his status rather than his size, Taro is greatly relieved...The feast of San Jose is one of the most lavish holidays in Valencia. Each district builds its own (huge papier mache towers crowned by wax dolls) which later go up in flames to the accompaniment of music and celebration. At the height of the receives a real log, not just a wax to replace the beloved pet he lost. Both books are profusely illustrated in keeping with the spirit of each country. Occasionally the story line is lost in the maze of holiday description. The first book on Israel (see above) remains the most effective of the series largely because the story is set within the holiday, not vice verse.