Spring is in full swing, and, in addition to a few solid months of sneezing, it means celebrating beginnings and renewal in both secular and spiritual cultures. We’re not just talking Easter and Passover! Let’s take a kid’s-eye jaunt around the globe with this sampling of festive books, and don’t be surprised if your plastic pastel eggs suddenly pale in comparison to the Technicolor vision of Holi!
Catherine’s Pascha: A Celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church, Charlotte Riggle; Illustrated by R.J. Hughes
It’s Pascha, the Feast of Feasts, and Catherine is beyond excited! Sure, it’s the holiest of holidays on the Eastern Orthodox calendar, but are she and her best friend, Elizabeth, really going to get to stay up all night eating desserts? And what’s this about smashing boiled eggs and playing with lit candles? Sounds like a party!
This beautifully illustrated book delivers a rich introduction to the culturally diverse amalgam that comprises the Eastern Orthodox tradition, wrapped in an engagingly relatable story.
Passover Around the World, Tami Lehman-Wilzig; Illustrated by Elizabeth Wolf
Travel from America to Turkey, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Iran and Morocco for vignettes depicting different elements of Passover, the Jewish celebration of the Israelites being freed from slavery in Egypt. Learn about the Seder Plate and the Four Questions, and then plan a grand feast of your own. Recipes included!
Norooz: A Celebration of Spring! The Persian New Year, Gail Hejazi; Illustrated by Christina Cavallo
What takes a month to prepare, nearly to two weeks to celebrate, and features reveling in the streets to music, banging pots and pans, knocking on doors for treats, jumping over fires, getting money from your older relatives, and a giant feast? Norooz! The Iranian New Year and spring festival rolled up into one ginormous extravaganza! Join the celebration!
Let’s Celebrate Holi! (Maya and Neel’s India Adventure Series, Book 3), Ajanta Chakraborty & Vivek Kumar
Join Maya and Neel, your guides in this, the third in a series of Indian culture explorations, as they learn the legends and symbolism of Holi, the Festival of Colors, and its universal story of good triumphing over evil. Discover the regional differences of Holi celebrations, from drums to bonfires. Then, have a literal blast—as in color powders or vibrantly hued liquids—launched, squirted, pelted, smeared, tossed, water-ballooned all over everybody!
A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox, Wendy Pfeffer; illustrated by Linda Bleck
Pfeffer seamlessly blends the scientific and natural with the myriad permutations of both faith-based and secular celebrations of spring. Readers come away with an understanding of spring being symbolically and naturally the “awakening” season. Learn how cultures throughout the world appreciate its significance. Common ground!
Earth Day (On My Own Holidays), Linda Lowery; Illustrated by Mary Bergherr
Earth Day delivers a day of respect for all things ground, air, water, and their inhabitants. With a forward written by Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson, readers learn about the relatively young history of this observance, as well as some of the science about the impact of certain pollutants on every living thing on Earth. Lowery empowers readers with practical knowledge and simple habits that can help our planet recover and thrive.
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