We All Celebrate is a joyful look at celebrations from all around the world. Crammed full of detail, every page bursting with colourful illustrations this non-fiction picture book is a true celebration of both unity and diversity and a thoughtful guide to religion, history and heritage.
As families we all celebrate in our own way, maybe for birthdays and weddings and also for special national events. Chitra Soundar wisely begins with the familiar and then explains how geography affects our celebrations showing how different rituals associated with the seasons alter depending on where you live. Pictures of the earth, the lunar cycle and a calendar are shown to help young readers grasp this concept. Having set the scene we then move on to New Year celebrations, seasonal rituals and customs and those associated with religions and different cultures. As we explore the world discovering the joys of celebrations in different places we also learn how these have adapted and altered over time. The wide variety included will open up children’s imaginations and enable them to discover fascinating customs and traditions they may not have known about.
From the cheerful cover, depicting a happy conga, onwards this is a book that feels truly celebratory. Jenny Bloomfield’s endpapers show people from all over the world celebrating in colourful costumes, playing musical instruments, dancing and singing. The fact that these people are joined together in harmony, hand in hand, arm in arm, smiling at each other encourages the reader to feel part of one big happy celebration. This is an uplifting book but also an interesting one. There is a great deal of information packed on to each page. Did you know that in Sweden there is a tradition to dance around a maypole to mark midsummer day? I didn’t know the origins of Spain’s La Tomatina festival. There are lovely descriptions of traditional festivals from the Pacific Islands that may be new to many. The similarities between different religions are mentioned with descriptions of fasting at special times in the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist faiths explained.
This would be a valuable book in primary school libraries and classrooms to support teaching and for general interest. The publishers, Tiny Owl Publishing, have created a lovely trailer which gives you a taste of the book and you can watch that below. I would like to thank Tiny Owl for providing my review copy. We All Celebrate was published on 4th November and is available to purchase on the publishers’ website.