Lot of food for thought and multicultural programming for schools, libraries and religious classes, despite its limitations...

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FOOD AND FAITH

Focusing on six children growing up in Britain, this photo-laden book provides a very brief introduction to the world’s major religious groups, customs related to holidays and services, and special foods.

Today’s multicultural world is in great evidence as the Muslim family includes people of various ethnic backgrounds, and many in the Buddhism section are not Asian, including Francis, the narrator. Jacob highlights the Jewish Shabbat, as well as Chanukah, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Purim and Passover. The meal described for the Muslim Eid ul Fitr is South Asian with Tandoori Chicken. The pakoras in the recipe section are also from South Asia, but there is no explanation that Muslims from other regions might eat different festive foods. Francesca’s Christingle, a recent Christmas symbol in the Anglican Church, will be of interest. Hinduism and Sikhism are also included. Recipes for one representative dish per religion are included at the back, with the exception of Buddhism, as the text concentrates on the custom of providing plain food to Buddhist monks and nuns. While the book conveys a lot of information, the layout is almost too busy. Photos of children, families, cooking implements, shops and foods are all attractive, but the intense backgrounds and many design elements overpower the photographs.

Lot of food for thought and multicultural programming for schools, libraries and religious classes, despite its limitations and lack of sources. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-84507-986-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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A well-intentioned book that does not successfully grapple with the complexity and challenge of its subject matter.

COURAGEOUS WORLD CHANGERS

50 TRUE STORIES OF DARING WOMEN OF GOD

Redmond introduces readers to Christian women from all over the world who made an impact on society.

Well-known political activists, athletes, missionaries, and many more are included along with various other strong and brave women who are less known, such as Ni Kwei-Tseng Soong and Christine Caine. Each of these 50 women has a dedicated spread, with a full-page illustration on recto and text on verso that provides readers with a brief history of her childhood. With this background, readers can understand how each woman has come to be celebrated. In each minibiography, the subject is quoted testifying to God’s presence and influence in her life. While a book dedicated to empowered Christian women is enlightening to read, it portrays all of these women uncomplicatedly as heroes. The view of missionary work it presents is outdated and biased, betraying a fundamental lack of cultural respect and appreciation, a point inadvertently driven home in the profile of Narcissa Whitman, a white woman who, as she wrote, worked for the “salvation” of “benighted [American] Indians.” Probably unsurprisingly, the entry on Pocahontas (depicted in a skimpy buckskin dress) does not acknowledge the traditional Powhatan counternarrative that she was kidnapped and raped rather than voluntarily converting to Christianity.

A well-intentioned book that does not successfully grapple with the complexity and challenge of its subject matter. (Collective biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7369-7734-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Harvest House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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A useful if occasionally preachy introduction, this book would benefit from the inclusion of more specific details,...

FAITH

FIVE RELIGIONS AND WHAT THEY SHARE

To encourage tolerance, the photographer/authors want to help children understand similarities among Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

The authors assume readers will be people of faith, not atheists or agnostics. After short descriptions of each religion, common themes, such as the Golden Rule, spiritual leaders, sacred texts, clothing, symbols, places of worship, worship acts (use of incense, candles, water, and prayer), charity and cherishing children are explored. The text can be very specific, mentioning branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) without explaining the differences. (Sunni and Shiite Muslims are not delineated.) Activities will help children, teachers and parents think about religion in a comparative manner, although no sources or further reading are provided, which is a glaring omission. The attractive photos are often cropped into circular or curvilinear shapes and presented on brightly colored pages, giving the book the look of a magazine. Identified by religion but not by country, the photos were taken in the United States and eight other nations, including Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam. Interestingly, Israel and India, seemingly obvious choices, are not included. Captions would have been helpful for some photos such as a picture of a Muslim boy in a distinctive white cape and jeweled hat, which remains unexplained in the text.

A useful if occasionally preachy introduction, this book would benefit from the inclusion of more specific details, including holidays and eating customs. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55453-750-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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