A noteworthy review of Traditions Around the World from School Library Connection on January 1, 2022
This series presents selected traditions from around the world in simple sentences written in familiar, student-friendly language. Broad subcategories describe geographically-dispersed information on anecdotal festivities, food, and customs celebrated around six holidays as well as tooth and wishing traditions. Some titles are written in a second person ‘you-friendly’ point-of-view which provides clear access to these high-interest topics for beginning readers. Finest is Tooth Traditions which is deeply global, filled with entries offering cultural connections and commonalities across an array of tooth traditions from countries around the world. Cautious librarians needn’t worry, for Easter Traditions— paragliding in the Ksahu Mountains in Ghana to spring cleaning in Sweden— offers global, ‘safe’ entries with minimal religious context. The tradition of gathering Easter eggs delivered by rabbits is also clarified. However, in National Day (which seems mistitled), all but one entry describe, not an array of National Days, but rather those holidays specifically celebrating freedom from external rule—a country’s fight for independence. Keenly observant readers may take offense at insensitive opinions (such as how countries ‘agree’ to be ruled by another country) and inaccurate generalities (‘Ukrainians don’t have many traditions yet.‘). Introducing some additional context may be necessary for Halloween and Day of the Dead in order to explain the healthy cultural reverence of some countries that revere, rather than fear, skeletons. Overall, most titles will help broaden young readers’ views of a variety of traditions celebrated around the world. Consistent across these 6 titles are the layout of double-page spreads with text and images which alternate between photos with drawings, a ‘Hands On’ section in the end pages, and maps which globally pinpoint the featured countries. Additional Resources. Index. Glossary. Table of Contents.
—Christie Kaaland Ed.D.