Celebrate With Me!
ed. Laura Gladwin, illustrated by Dawn M. Cardona
Twenty five creative people including chefs, artists, storytellers and designers from various parts of the world, have a double spread in which to present their favourite festival. Each person provides an introduction telling what makes their chosen festival special for them. Some festivals have a fixed date and others vary each year and the book starts with New Year’s Day and closes with New Year’s Eve. It introduces readers to some of the less frequently mentioned festivals and celebrations as well as presenting some that are well-known including Diwali, Eid-Al-Fitr and Easter. I had not come across Juneteenth before reading baker and food justice advocate, Michael Platt’s spread on the celebration.
Since food is such an important festival component, every one includes a recipe (to be used under adult supervision) – some are sweet, others savoury – as well as an art/craft activity, a story, song, game or something else that for each presenter, is part and parcel of their personal way of celebrating.
The book concludes with a look at some birthday traditions around the world and a spread suggesting readers ask those they know some festival related questions.
Diversity is key in this invitingly illustrated book. It’s a great way to learn about a variety of cultures and to help readers feel connected to the cycle of the year and to other people.