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Celebrations Of Light [Hardcover]

Nancy Luenn , Mark Bender

List Price: CDN$ 21.99
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1998
Long ago, people found a way to light the darkness. They built fires to keep warm and cook their food. They lit torches to drive away danger. To help them see at night, they learned to make candles and lanterns. Light was so important in their lives that they came to use it in worship and in celebrations.
From a Brazilian New Year's celebration to the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa, Celebrations of Light circles the year and the globe. The text and paintings highlight twelve festivals, showing the diverse ways in which people around the world use light as a major part of their celebrations. In each of these holidays, light plays a significant role, marking and brightening special days.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Oct. 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068931986X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689319860
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 23.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #288,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-Twelve holidays from different cultures are briefly examined. The book begins with the Brazilian New Year's Eve, the Chinese New Year, Lanterns in Sierra Leone, and Lichtmesdag in Luxembourg. April through November are represented by Buddha's birthday in Korea, Bon Matsuri in Japan, Diwali in India, and Loy Krathong in Thailand. The cycle concludes with Hanukkah, Sweden's Luciadagen, Christmas/Las Posadas, and Kwanzaa. Two paragraphs describe each holiday and its significance and relate whether the light is used for celebration, remembrance, and/or worship. The theme of light is an interesting, unifying concept across cultures, but the text is too long for most teachers to read aloud in one sitting and there may be too little information to be useful as a reference for a single holiday. The stylized airbrush art has a strong geometric quality. Unnatural colors, ambiguous use of space, and unusual placement of elements give some of the paintings a cubist look. While the illustrations have a celebratory mood, they do not contribute much information. An alternative source might be Anabel Kindersley's Children Just Like Me: Celebrations! (DK, 1997). Although not dealing specifically with the light motif, it does discuss many of the same days with more detail in text and photographs. Luenn's book may be an appropriate choice for those looking specifically at light across cultural events or for those needing an additional volume on world holidays.
Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-5. Luenn examines 12 celebrations around the world and throughout a year that emphasize light. She includes well-known observances, such as New Year's Day (in Brazil and China), Hanukkah (Israel), Christmas (the U.S. and Mexico), and Kwanza (U.S.), as well as lesser-known festivities such as Lichtmesday or Candlemas (Luxembourg), Buddha's Birthday (Korea), Lanterns (Sierra Leone), and Luciadagen (Sweden). Each observance is presented on a double-page spread, with Mark Bender's stylized airbrush paintings on the left and a brief description of the festival customs on the right. Although there's not enough information here for report writers and some of the illustrations may be confusing to young readers (Saint Lucia, wearing a candle-lit crown, appears to be sleeping amid cups of hot coffee and pastries), this will be useful for introducing the concept that winter holidays (10 of the 12) encompass more than Christmas. Kay Weisman

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars don't bother Dec 17 2012
By Susiedaul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We do a year long theme of "celebrating" in my kindergarten classroom, with all the celebrations of light taking center stage in December. I bought this book hoping it would show my students how using lights in the darkest time of year is a commonality around the world. Basically, it misses the mark! On the outside it is exactly what I was looking for, but the text is way to dry and uninformative, and the pictures, while lovely, don't enhance the text or provide clues to kids. (How about some maps, symbols, or kids celebrating!) Its not informative enough to be a good non fiction, and its not readable enough for a read aloud... so it leaves me skimming, paraphrasing, and then explaining what the pictures are supposed to be about. Would definitely not have bought it if I could have flipped through it first. Don't waste your money.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning of a unit - great March 7 2014
By Lily Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I used this to introduce a short unit of study to my third graders, in which they researched various holidays of light and presented them to their classmates. It's got lovely illustrations and they enjoyed the read-aloud.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and inviting book of holiday celebrations with colorful and meaningful pictures. Jan. 31 2012
By Jward - Published on Amazon.com
This book is very warm and colorful to the eyes and forms a meaningful understanding of celebrations in different countries around the world.

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