Book: Festival Stories Though The Year
Author: Rachna Chhabria
Ages: 8-10 years
Who doesn’t love celebrating festivals. Being born in a country which is known as the land of festivals and where not a month goes by when some part of the country is not celebrating something, I too love celebrating festivals. Festivals carry a positive vibe with them which fills the entire atmosphere with energy and enthusiasm and everyone seems to get some relief from the daily grind of life. The pre-festival preparations, shopping for new things, decorations, festive food and get-togethers with family is what I wait for throughout the year.
Diwali being a very grand and favourite festival for me and many of us has almost bid us a goodbye, and it’s natural to feel sad while getting back to our routine affairs.
But this year somehow I and my daughter, who usually sulk for a week after Diwali are not feeling that sad, as festival season for us has not ended with Diwali. We are looking forward to celebrate some more festivals in the upcoming months about which we were not much aware earlier. Thanks to Rachna Chhabria’s book “Festival Stories Through The Year”, we have managed to increase our knowledge about many beautiful festivals which are celebrated during the upcoming winter months and many others which will come early next year.
This book has beautifully represented Indian festival’s in a unique way. There are many books which will describe festivals to kids but this book has descriptions woven in a family story which makes it a gripping read. You really feel like ‘which festival will come next’ ‘how will they celebrate it’ and just can’t keep it down.
The main characters in the story are Nikhil and Natasha who are 10 year old twins, living in Manhattan, America with their parents. The brother sister duo are well settled in their American way of life when their parents tell them that after spending a long time in US for work it’s time that they all relocate to India. They didn’t want their children to miss on growing up in their motherland and love its rich culture and traditions. The parents are required to stay in Manhattan for some time in order to settle a few things so it was decided that the kids will live with their grandparents in India till their parents join them.
The news comes as a shock to the kids, but despite their reluctance and grumpiness they had to abide by their parents decision and come to live in Bangalore with their paternal grandparents. They both are initially scared and uncertain about how their life will change and whether they’ll be able to cope with everything new or not? But to their surprise, in a few weeks time they start loving everything that’s happening around them. Their loving and caring grandparents – especially grandma, makes sure that the children get well settled in their new home and life.
The first festival that they celebrate in India is Lohri, and thereafter with each festival that the family celebrates, the kids get to know about so many new customs and traditions associated with each one of them that by the time the year ends they have written a journal (Natasha’s Journals) and a blog (Nikhil’s blogs) about each one of them.
Each and every story in the book is heart warming and characters like Sarla Aunty (Grandma’s best friend and neighbour), Lata (the housemaid) and Natasha and Nikhil’s friends and teacher add more colour to them. By the end of the book I am sure you will feel connected with each one of them. Nikhil’s love for food and his being gluttonous sometimes will make you laugh while Dadi’s (Grandma’s) and Sarla Auntie’s generous and loving nature will remind you of your own grandparents. Both Dadi and Sarla Aunty are wonderful chefs and reading the descriptions of their delicious festive food will make you drool.
The book is not only informative and interesting to read but also is full of beautiful messages related to secularism, oneness of God and respect and love for all religions and cultures. I and my 10 year old daughter highly recommend it for solo reading by 8-10 year old kids and by parents to their younger kids during festival times. This book is for keepsakes. And I bought it right here from kidsbookcafe.com
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