I am excited and honored to be taking part in the 2017 Mutilcultural Children’s Book Day because it is so critical that kids are able to see the world from many perspectives as early as possible. It’s Time for Holi! By Amita Roy Shah was given to me, generously, by Amita herself, thanks to Amita!
It’s Time for Holi! starts during winter with a young boy who laments the fact that there are not any colors other than the white of the snow. His parents reassure him that spring will be near when the colors of the flowers come out. Once spring arrives the boy becomes very excited as he is seeing the beautiful colors of the flowers he knows that Holi must be right around the corner. The day final arrives and the family gets all of their colored powder ready and the boy joyfully goes about putting vibrant colors of blue, green, and red onto his family members. As more and more family members arrive for the celebration the boy puts colors onto all of them and the celebration hits its peak right before it ends. After the story ends Amita provides our young readers with a short explanation of what Holi is, a springtime celebration that occurs in India celebrating when good vanquished evil. It is a time for celebration and family.
Illustration and Text:
The Illustrations in It’s Time for Holi! were done by Diane Lucas and are simply outstanding, the use of color and the warm, inviting faces of the characters made this book really stand out. I felt myself easily imagining being right there in the family’s living room splashing color onto my friends.
The text also follows a great rhyme scheme that I found whimsical and fun, matching the illustrations. In addition the story uses lots of descriptive language around colors as the boy describes the colors of all of the things that he sees in nature. This adds to the connection between Holi and the coming spring when the colors come out!
If teachers get creative, this book is could easily be integrated into a classroom at almost any age range. The text is not difficult and could be used as a read aloud for very young children, especially because the pictures are so clear and engaging. Below are some ideas for use in a classroom, or even at home with your own child.
A simple inquiry of “Holi India,” into Google Images provides a plethora of high quality pictures to choose from. I would pick a photo that is very busy, with lots of people, for picture analysis. Below are the step-by-step directions for this lesson.
Step 1: Read It’s Time For Holi!
Step 2: Have students look at the picture for 5 minutes or long using a quadrant analysis. Divide the picture into four quarters and look at one quarter at a time then the picture as a whole. I usually take one full minute for each quarter, this is why a busy picture is better for this activity.
Step 3: Have students close their eyes and imagine that they are in the photo. Focus on the senses. As students what they see, hear, smell, feel (touch), or taste, also ask how they feel emotionally, are they happy, sad, nervous, etc?
Step 4: Have students write about or discuss with a partner what they envisioned in Step 3. It is always fun to see how students with the same picture can have totally different visions of what is happening in the scene.
Compare and Contrast
Step 1: Read It’s Time for Holi! (Timing this with the actual time for Holi might be fun)
Step 2: Have students brainstorm traditions they might have between winter and spring.
Step 3: Create a Venn diagram for analyzing similarities and differences between your student’s traditions and Holi.
Write your own story
Step 1: Read It’s Time for Holi!
Step 2: Have students write and illustrate their own story about their own family celebrations and traditions.
Questions for discussion:
About Multicultural Children's Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O'Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
English Language Development teacher attempting to bring some truth to the table.
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