The Big Book of Festivals is crammed with information and facts celebrating the diversity of the world’s celebrations and the importance of them to our sense of community. A joyful look at the way people mark special occasions expressed in an accessible text and colourful illustrations detailing the symbols and motifs associated with the different occasions.
This book would be an excellent introduction to the cultural and religious festivals of the world and a valuable addition to school library and classroom bookshelves. Presented in alphabetical order and providing full descriptions of each festival, its history and where and when it takes place The Big Book of Festivals is wonderful for both browsing and structured learning. The accompanying illustrations and their captions highlight particular aspects of the festivals and make each double page spread appealing to linger over. There are thoughtful touches such as individual named children introduced at the start of the book for the reader to lookout for as they read. The endpapers deserve a mention too as they depict a map of the world showing people in different countries enjoying the festivals described.
The various festivals include Diwali, the Indian festival of light, the Spanish tomato-throwing festival La Tomatina, Christmas, Hanukkah, the Belgian Festival of Giants, the Lunar New Year and Gelede the West African tribute to mothers. There are sections covering seasonal festivals too such as Thanksgiving and Groundhog Day and regional festivals including the Irish Puck Fair. The range is interesting and informative providing a look at the global nature of festivals and highlighting the shared aspect of joy and celebration.
The Big Book of Festivals was published on 1st February by Faber and Faber and I would like to thank the publisher for my review copy. You can purchase a copy of the book online at Bookshop.