Celebrations the world over involve parades, foods, traditional clothing, masks, songs, and games.
Information on 14 festivals, country maps, small photos, sidebars with holiday traditions (in the appropriate language, with pronunciations), and instructions for a craft or a recipe make up the jam-packed left-hand page of each spread. Colorful, detailed cartoon illustrations appear opposite. There are certainly interesting facts and activities, but careless errors (including a typo to be corrected in the second printing) and a decided slant toward Western Europe (five countries) diminish the volume’s value. Opening with a monthly timeline, it offers a basic explanation of the lunar calendar, but this is not integrated into the overall schematic. This spread also includes a note about adult help for crafting and cooking. Many of the holidays are commonly celebrated in many places, and the author’s failure to point out that Eid al-Fitr, for instance, is celebrated around the globe and not just in Egypt is a sad, missed opportunity. A few festivals are not often presented in books of this ilk, such as Bhutan’s Dangpai Losar (New Year) and Laternenfest, held on St. Martin’s Day in Germany. The last spread brings children from the different countries together and asks readers to create their own celebrations. Sadly, given the glancing notice necessitated by the format, there are no further resources included.
Despite some bright spots, the lapses in information limit this book’s effectiveness. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)