All around the world there are festivals that reach back through the sands of time to medieval carnival traditions, and beyond. The festivals in this book are often little known outside their locale and they are all characterised by spectacular costumes and compellingly bizarre rituals. The Jarramplas of Piornal, Spain is a spooky devil character dressed in rags, who is pelted by two tons of turnips every year. In Japan, the Kasedori wear a suit of straw and run barefoot through the snow as villagers douse them in freezing water to protect their houses from fire. The Courir de Mardi Gras is a lesser known cousin of the New Orleans carnival, in which members of rural Louisiana communities dress in Medieval French jester costumes and chase down chickens thrown from the roofs of local farmsteads.
Nine-year-old Sumac Lottery considers it her job to make sure none of the Lottery celebrations are forgotten, especially now at Christmas time, and in her large, gay, and multiethnic family there are a lot of occasions for celebration in the house they all call Camelottery–but when a terrible ice storm hits Toronto, one of her dads, and her favorite brother cannot make it home from India, and it becomes increasingly difficult to hang on to the holiday spirit.
Come join the crowd headed for a summer celebración! Marvel at the people riding motociclos, bicycles, triciclos, and unicycles. Duck out of the way as firefighters spray water everywhere. Clap to the music as people playing clarinetes, saxophones, trompetas, and drums march by. Feast on lemonade, watermelon, tacos, and helado. Take cover when a brief rain shower comes, and then as night falls–big sorpresas. Pop, pop, pop! ¡Bón, bón, bón!
At the end of October each year, it’s time to celebrate an ancient tradition: Dia de los Muertos! With vibrant illustrations by Golden Globe–winning Mexican illustrator Jorge Gutierrez, this festive board book teaches that Dia de los Muertos honors ancestors and loved ones who have passed. From sugar skulls to papel picado, this is a holiday that truly commemorates the cycle of life.
In the ninth month of the year, when the first crescent moon rises in the sky, it’s time to celebrate Ramadan! In this lovely board book with illustrations from Rashin Kheiriyeh, readers learn that Ramadan is a time to reflect on ourselves, to be thankful, and a time to help others.
Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don’t work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster?
Sibilings Chintoo and Mintoo collect flowers and press the petals into a fine powder as they prepare for Holi, the Indian springtime Festival of Colors. Includes author’s note.
What would you do if you woke up one night to find the shadow of a giant chicken passing your bedroom door? Go and investigate, of course! When Anyaugo follows a giant chicken into her kitchen one warm night in Nigeria, she embarks on a fun-filled adventure where nothing is quite as it seems. Is the mischievous giant chicken a friend or a foe? More importantly, will Anyaugo be able to save the food for the New Yam Festival the next day?
On the eve of Chinese New Year, Yao wakes the ancient sky dragon, Shen Long, from his year-long sleep, propelling Yao on a magical journey through the skies to battle the bad luck of the previous year and usher in the good.
The perilous adventure of a toy soldier who loves a paper dancing girl culminates in tragedy for both of them.