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Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations [Hardcover]

Catherine Rondina , Jacqui Oakley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2012
Throughout the year and around the globe, people use light -- candles, bonfires, lanterns and fireworks -- to celebrate special occasions. This richly illustrated book is an illuminating tour of the world's brightest and warmest festivities.

Product Details

Product Description


"... an informative, month-by-month look at global holidays, both religious and secular." --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Catherine Rondina has written numerous children's books and teaches the art of writing nonfiction. She is the author of Don't Touch That Toad and Other Strange Things Adults Tell You. Catherine lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Jacqui Oakley is a professional illustrator specializing in portraiture and hand- lettering. She has done work for clients such as Rolling Stone, Spin, The Boston Globe, LA Weekly and The Atlantic. In addition to her work as a freelance illustrator, she is also an instructor at OCAD University in Toronto. She has received various awards for her work, such as the American Illustration Award and the Applied Arts Illustration Award. Born in Canada, Jacqui spent her formative years living in Bahrain

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Cultural celebrations are not only good fun and a chance to socialize (and eat!) but a great way to learn about geography, history, languages and so much more - even math if you are cooking or checking out the calendar!

Lighting Our World takes a Gregorian calendar year and goes through a number of holidays which use lights to celebrate, all over the world. Every single one of the subjects above is covered, and the author uses children to introduce their own celebration which is very accessible to the middle grade reader.

Some of the celebrations, like Independence Day or Canada Day are based around countries, but most are for cultures, whether over a number of countries (like Easter or Ramadan) or a cultural group within a nation, like Kwanzaa. I was familiar with just about three-quarters of the celebrations contained herein. Holidays like Enkutatash in Ethiopia and Inti Raymi in Peru were new to me. We got out our globe and had fun picking out which celebration was celebrated where.

It's great that the book is set up so that different variations on a similar theme are close together so kids can see how things change from group to group. This is the kind of book that would do great in ELT classrooms around the world.

Jacqui Oakley has somehow captured the hues of bright festival colours tempered by twilight or a flickering lantern. Her illustrations are infused with the joy of children experiencing the best of their culture. I can't imagine how much she had to research to get all of the costumes, lanterns, and architecture correct, but the work she put in was well worth it because the product is gorgeous.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A multicultural introduction to worldwide celebrations of light March 17 2013
By Andrea Coventry - Published on Amazon.com
As a Montessori teacher, I really like this book! In December, we often have Festivals of Light, to celebrate the four major holidays. But celebrations using light occur all throughout the year. This book is a great resource for the teacher who is looking for more cultural studies to include. It's also great for the elementary-aged student who is researching them. Most of the commonly known celebrations are included, with a few that I have never heard of before.

Each festival is introduced by a kid who lives in that country, with a brief description of it. Every month and most continents are represented. The brief intros may encourage kids to research those that pique their interest. There isn't enough information to provide a full template for creating your own celebration.

Illustrations are full of color and excitement to represent each culture and celebration. It makes for a good addition to a kid's library.

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic of Lights Dec 10 2012
By LadyInRead - Published on Amazon.com
Light - in so many different forms - is a very vital part of many celebrations around the world. Every candle on the birthday cake makes it ever more special. The lamps lit in and around the house and the fireworks during the festival of Diwali make this occasion even more festive - the name itself means row of lights. Light, in its every form, brings feelings of warmth, victory, happiness, peace, and joy. This is reflected in every page of this book.

In this book, Rondina uses the voices of kids everywhere to speak about their local celebrations that involve light. Religious, cultural, or secular; old or new, - all celebrations are included in this book. The book is arranged month by month and as we traverse through the calendar, we travel the world through this book celebrating the wonderful occasions and enjoy the delightful lights - be they lanterns, lamps, candles, or fireworks. From Up Helly Aa in January to Kwanzaa celebrated in December, from Scotland to India to the US, the voices of the children lend themselves to make the celebrations interesting and relevant to young readers. The introduction and glossary contain useful information too.

It was fun exploring the world through this book. I love introducing my children to various cultures and traditions, and teaching them to appreciate the uniqueness, the differences, and the similarities that exist among them and this book does a great job in helping me with it. They also made the kids and me curious to learn more about many of the celebrations here. I would also recommend this for class reading.

The illustrations in the book are a class by themselves - as art and as perfect companions to the text in the book. Each page has vivid, festive illustrations that seem to jump out of the page asking us to join in the celebrations.

Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a digital review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read the book.
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