Reviews /

Celebrate With Me

Authored by Laura Gladin
Illustrated by Dawn M. Cardona
Published by Magic Cat Publishing

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Celebrate With Me: Diversity is key in this beautifully illustrated book. Twenty-five creative people including chefs, artists, storytellers and designers from various parts of the world, from chefs such as Erin Gleeson and Joanne Chang; artists and authors including Dow Phumiruk and Queenie Chan; and designers such as Marta Veludo and Juliet Sargeant, have a double spread in which to present their favourite festival. Each provides an introduction telling what makes their chosen festival special for them. Some festivals have a fixed date and others vary each year and the book cycle starts with New Year’s Day and closes with New Year’s Eve.

It introduces readers to some of the less frequently mentioned festivals and celebrations such Juneteenth (reading baker and food justice advocate, Michael Platt’s choice) as well as including some that are well-known including Diwali, Eid-Al-Fitr and Easter. Each includes a recipe (to be used under adult supervision) to suit sweet and savoury palates, as well as an art/craft activity, a story, song, game or something else that for each presenter, is part and parcel of their personal way of celebrating.

It’s an inviting and unique way to learn about a variety of cultures and encourages readers of all ages to feel connected to the cycle of the year and to other people. Highly recommended as a book for libraries, reading corners and for personal bookshelves at home, offering everyone the chance to share in a world of parties, festivals, and holidays.