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)