Shining a Light on Cultural Celebrations
By Catherine Rondina, Illustrated by Jacqui Oakley
Kids Can Press, $17.95, 32 pages
When people think of celebrations using lights, Christmas comes to mind – twinkling bulbs next to ornaments on Christmas trees, and strings of lights draped on homes around the neighborhood. But throughout the year, people all over the world use light to celebrate cultural events. In Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations, readers take a journey around the world as traditions and customs featuring light are described from a child’s point of view. Author Catherine Rondina categorizes events by month. In January, the people living in the Shetland Islands in Scotland celebrate “Up Helly Aa,” a festival honoring the way the Vikings lived over 1,000 years ago. In March, the people of Iran celebrate “Nowruz,” an ancient festival where people honor the new year by jumping over a burning bonfire. Jacqui Oakley’s illustrations breathe life into the customs and festivals by highlighting characteristics unique to each country. Beginning readers will also have a chance to become familiar with a book’s table of contents, introduction and glossary.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin