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1-Minute Read: Festive fervour

Updated on: 21 May,2024 09:23 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Fiona Fernandez |

Those issues aside, it’s a fun ride. Pick it up to give young readers a better understanding of the amazing layers that make up secular, cosmopolitan India

1-Minute Read: Festive fervour

The book offers handy information and DIY activities on India’s festivals. Illustration Courtesy/Shamika CHaves, Hachette India

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1-Minute Read: Festive fervour

The publishing industry continues to roll out books for children at a rapid pace, given the varied opportunities that the age group offers, from toddlers to tweens, and teenagers. Often, in this hurriedly compiled template, facts and figures tend to get glossed over, or disseminated in a half-hearted way. This reviewer has come across countless such titles, especially in the curated story/idea format that lose their sparkle and wow factor as soon as you starting turning the pages. 

With peak festive season still to arrive for most of India, Fun with Festivals (Hachette India) by Subhamoy Das and Sulaiman Ahmad is a handy, well-researched guidebook for the young, curious reader. The contributors manage to pack a punch with myths, facts and legends from festivals, ranging from the obvious (Diwali, Eid, Christmas) to the relatively lesser documented ones (Lohri, Onam, Navroz). Our favourite parts are the DIY activities that follow each chapter on that particular festival. The illustrations by Shamika Chaves give the book’s personality a certain vibrancy that softens the academic, studious edge that could have taken over, and possibly appeared as an intimidating read to some.

Be it making a simple yet popular dish or a not-so-overwhelming craft project, there is something for each kind of discerning, impressionable child. Of course, it’s up to the parent or school teacher/ librarian to egg to reader to see these cool tasks to their logical end, or at least get them hooked on to it. That usually tends to be the most challenging part for such content, as they will tell you. As far as representation goes, we would have loved to read about festivals from the North East (apart from Bihu), the tiny Jewish community, as well as festivals celebrated by India’s vast and diverse tribal population.

Those issues aside, it’s a fun ride. Pick it up to give young readers a better understanding of the amazing layers that make up secular, cosmopolitan India.

Fun with Festivals
Author Subhamoy Das, Sulaiman Ahmad
Genre Activity/ Reference
Publisher Hachette India
Cost Rs 299

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