Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations

ImageWritten by Catherine Rondina, illustrated by Jacqui Oakley

Kids Can Press, 2012

32 p.; $18.95 (hardcover)

ISBN: 9781554535941 (hardcover)

Reviewed by Christine F. Smith

Ages 7-10

A wonderful non-fiction text with truly amazingly illustrations, Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations is a must-add to any children’s collection.

The book starts out by explaining how important light is many cultural celebrations, whether it is light from the moon, the sun, a candle, or a fire. Then, it goes on to highlight light-related celebrations around the world from Scotland’s Up Helly Aa in January to the Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah, in December. A glossary of culture-specific words is provided as well as a brief description of the calendar being used, and other calendars that may be used in other cultures. A table of contents can also be found at the beginning and pronunciation guides are found throughout.

Additional interesting aspects of the book include the fact that holidays are observed from national perspectives (independence days, etc.) but also from cultural and religious perspectives (Easter, Kwanzaa, etc.). Furthermore, holidays are written from the voice of a child in the given culture, giving young readers a relatable insight into other parts of the world. This book is highly recommended.