Chook Doolan: Let's do Diwali! by James Roy

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Ill. by Lucinda Gifford. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925381597
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Festivals. Anxiety. Bravery. Friendship. Chook is paired with Praj to research a festival and give a talk and they decide to investigate the Hindu festival Diwali, especially as Praj and his family are going to the festivities. They invite Chook to go along but he is nervous in big crowds. However Praj and his family make him feel comfortable and give him a deep red kurta to wear. Initially he is worried but he overcomes his fears and he has a wonderful time, eating delicious food and watching the fireworks.
Written in short chapters with its large font and easy sentences, this is ideal for the emerging reader. The information given about Diwali, the clothes worn and the food and celebrations is quite detailed and any child reading this will gain an excellent insight into the Hindu festivals and the customs surrounding it.
This is highly recommended for its focus on the fears that young children can have when facing new experiences and the friendship and help that Praj and his family offer is inspiring.
Pat Pledger