Book Review: Diwali

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

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Diwali is one holiday that is known for its lights. A Hindu holiday, Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. It is celebrated by Sikhs and Jains as well.

Part of the new Holidays Around the World series from National Geographic, this book presents the festival of lights as a vibrant day of thanksgiving, which it is. Candles are part of the program, as are fireworks. In addition, Diwali celebrations include wall and sidewalk designs. (Indeed, the most stunning photo in the book is of fabulously designed sidewalk design made from colored rice flour beads.)

Another of the amazing photographs is one showing donations of food to the god Krishma. In some parts of India, people include more than 100 types of food in this kind of offering. In other parts of the country, Diwali signals the New Year.

These photographs accompany the narrative, which explains in detail just how and why Diwali is celebrated. Sweets, lights, and fireworks illimuniate the celebrating. In all elements, the photos are so real-looking that we swear that we are really there.

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