One of the things that I took for granted as a child are festivals and their celebration. They were fun, sure, what with no school, yummy treats and a general happy air. They were however, events that came and went every year and I never put any thought into the details of how they were celebrated. Now an adult, I’m on the other side and I find myself having to think about the intricacies of the celebration–the why, how, who and what. When I was in India, I would grumble about the amount of preparation involved and wish for a few more hours of sleep in the morning, instead of having to wake up and prepare for the festivities.
In the US, however, these festivals are one of the few links I have to my identity and I take the effort to celebrate them with as much authentic flavour as possible. None of my efforts however can match up to what it is really like back home, and while I can live with that, I do wonder how I can convey the same sense of enjoyment and culture to the children I hope to have one day. That is why books like Shoumi Sen’s Celebrate Durga Puja With Me! are a valuable resource.
Today, being the start of the Navaratri festival (literal translation: Nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights), during which we celebrate the Goddess(es!), seemed like the perfect time to blog about this adorable book.
Written in rhyme, this cute, little book for toddlers is a delight to read. The rhymes are very catchy and I wouldn’t be surprised if multiple re-reads are demanded! The illustrations are colourful and joyous and capture the spirit of the celebrations. There is just enough in both the words and the pictures, to spark a conversation between parents and children about Durga puja, and the stories and traditions surrounding the same. A lot of the key words are Bengali and so it’s a great way to add to the toddler’s vocabulary too. Even for children back in India, where they can experience this festival for themselves, this book is a great way to involve them more deeply, and to get them started on the path to becoming reading champs!
In the conversation about reading diversely, the need for diverse children’s literature comes up regularly. Books like these, that are deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of a community are a boon.
FTC disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for this honest review.
Purchase links: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1517550076/ref=cm_sw_su_dp