Festivals! by Jane Bingham and Mariona Cabassa
Festivals are times for fun and excitement, bring communities together to celebrate and commemorate. And there are many books about the most common that are held in different cultures, religions and societies so that most students have a basic knowledge of a lot of them, particularly those that are important to their school populations.
But what sets this book aside apart from its vibrant presentation is that the festivals themselves are collated not by date or purpose but by action. So there are collections of those where throwing things like gumboots and tomatoes gathered together under the heading SPLAT!; others collected under headings such as Boo!, Crackle! and Parade!, even Splosh!
Amidst the eye-catching illustrations, only two or three festivals are featured and there is just the basic information about them, but this is expanded a little in pages at the back, making this an ideal text for young readers. Who wouldn't want to find out more about a festival that features giant ice castles that sparkle, or one that has a parade of giants or even one wear everyone wears a mask? And then, just in case you missed something there are look-and-find pages that encourage the readers to go back and find particular celebrations.
Time and again throughout my reviews I have said that Usborne really know what makes an interesting, engaging non fiction book and this one is no exception. And, as usual there are Quicklinks to investigate individual festivals further but for me, the power of the book is the similarities in the way that we express joy and delight as we remember and recall, and that in itself, brings communities together as much as any individual focus.