Celebrate Holi with Me (2016) by Shoumi Sen and illustrated by Abira Das. (Digital review copy provided by the author. All thoughts are my own.)
The newest book in the From the Toddler Diaries series, Celebrate Holi with Me! debuts just in time for spring! Holi was always my students' favorite holiday to learn about when we studied global holidays in third grade, and I am excited to have this new resource to share.
In addition to being an author, Shoumi Sen is an engineer and a co-host of #diversekidlit! If you want to learn more about Shoumi or her first book in the series (Celebrate Durga Puja With Me!), click here to read our interview from last fall.
Review of Celebrate Holi With Me!
Holi is an Indian festival of colors that coincides with the start of spring. What always attracted my students to the idea of Holi was the fact that part of the celebration involves color in a very literal way - throwing and spraying it on your friends and family! (Doesn't that make you want to find out more?)
Celebrate Holi with Me follows the same joyful, colorful style of the first book in the From the Toddler Diaries series, which works especially well to dramatize the importance of colors during Holi.
The book is told in short, rhyming quatrains, which add to the rhythmic and bouncy feel. Young narrator, Riya (in the yellow), invites the reader to join her before explaining the origins of the holiday as well as the details of the celebration. The addition of a "Toddler Dictionary" in the back provides a useful resource for any unfamiliar terms from the book (though the context and illustrations also help).
This is both a fun and informative book. Kids will enjoy the messy and creative parts of the holiday, while also learning a great deal. (I learned several new things myself, especially about the exciting origins of the holiday.) This is a great book to share as we approach the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere - maybe it will inspire you to seek out a Holi celebration near you!
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