December 19, 2012
How I Celebrate: A Young Person's Guide to the Festivals of the World
by Pam Robson
Readers are introduced to seven young people from around the world who are supposed to act as tour guides to their special celebrations. But the book doesn't quite unfold that way. From the title and the first page, I thought I'd be reading first-person accounts of a specific festival. The characters do tell their stories in sidebars, but only sporadically. They're more often used as background illustration instead. The book is a third-person view of various celebrations honoring births, coming-of-age, weddings, independence, or holy days.
The book could be better organized, with fewer subheadings. Every celebration uses decorations, music, dance, lights, fires or special foods, so headings using these terms aren't really necessary. Girls will be disappointed at the emphasis given to boys and their special days. A more equal approach would have been nice.
In summary, the information is good, but the presentation needs work.