Holi, a festival of colors, is a spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal. It is celebrated to rejoice the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and as a Thanksgiving for a good harvest. It lasts for two days starting on full moon day somewhere between February and March. The first day is known as ‘Holika Dahan’ and the second day as ‘Rangwali Holi’.
“Let’s Celebrate Holi“, written by Ajanta and Vivek, is the third book of the series after “Let’s Celebrate 5 days of Diwali” and “Let’s Visit Mumbai“. This book brings us Holi through the eyes of two kids, Maya and Neel, (accompanied by their pet Chintu) who visit their cousin Ameya in India, just in time for Holi. They are all set to turn their pristine white clothes into souvenirs of celebrations.
Starting off with the story of Prahlad and Holika, the author moves on to explain why and how the festival was celebrated initially and the gradual changes made to the celebration over a period of time. Maya and Neel understand the concept of Holi by witnessing sequential customs, reading books and through friendly interactions/inquiries. After imbibing all they could about the much awaited festival, Maya and Neel stride to the market and equip themselves with ‘gulaal’, ‘pichkari’ and balloons to enjoy with friends and complete strangers too. Of course “Everyone is your friend on the day of Holi”. ‘Gujia’ and ‘Thandai’ during ‘Holi Milan’ in the presence of the enchanting moon- Oh mouth-watering!!
The author aptly highlights the essence of Holi : sharing, respecting others and confidently housing good virtues in-spite of negative influences. And I admire how this book could still register cleanliness among the young readers, when Holi is all about spraying colors. Bearing in mind India’s diversified culture, the author has devised a ‘book within a book’ strategy to impart geographically distinct practices of Holi without having to avert from the flow of the story.
I loved the recap quiz! The pictures were self explanatory, giving a sense of accomplishment even for the very young book lovers just like my kiddo. The vibrant colors kept him engrossed. So I definitely would recommend this book as a gift to your kiddo.