Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns, and Stars! by Betty Reynolds
Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns and Stars! is a fun and educational book for children about the customs of Japan. It is full of colorful pictures with a playful quality depicting the practices of various Japanese holidays throughout the seasons.
Each holiday gets its own page with a description of the event and an accompanying illustration. Much of the white space of the pages is filled with smaller images and descriptions of traditional foods, dress and rituals. A child who enjoys pictures and asking questions about what they see will love this book.
The book makes reference to the traditional Japanese religion of Shinto and the corresponding rituals to respect the gods and ancestors and includes a profile of Kan-butsu-e, or Buddha’s Baptism Celebration, in which children take turns pouring sweet tea over a statue of the Buddha.
The best thing about “Japanese Celebrations” is its interactive quality: many of the holidays include related crafts with step by step directions, easy and quick-to-learn games, and even celebratory songs complete with musical notation.
Children with active imaginations will dive in to this engaging and colorful read, and parents will enjoy playing, crafting and singing along with their kids.