Having picture books to explain different religious festivals and introduce young readers to new cultures are always going to be books I treasure. As a mother I can share them with my girls and as a teacher they are invaluable resources that a whole school can benefit from.
Diwali is a festival observed by different religions including Hinduism and Sikhism. In the northern hemisphere Diwali is a festival that falls during autumn each year and it is a festival that is representative of prosperity and happiness. This illuminating festival includes different traiditions such as the lighting of diyas which is a small clay cup made to use as an oil lamp. Rangoli patterns are another tradition which many people celebrating Diwali will complete at the entrance of their home using materials such as crushed limestone, chalk or rice.
Rama and Sita The Story of Diwali by Malachy Doyle and illustrated by Christopher Corr is a colourful read that explains the story of Diwali. Reissued by Bloomsbury books in a larger picture book format this would be a great resource to have at home and in learning settings.
Ramayana, Rama and his wife Sita live in a forest. They are happily in love but the demon king, Ravana has fallen for Sita and thinks she is so beautiful. He kidnaps her but Sita cleverly leaves a trail of her accessories she is wearing to help Rama find her. He befriends a monkey king who in turn helps Rama so much and eventually Sita is found.
Rescuing Sita isn’t so simple and Rama has to fight the demon king which he is unable to do alone but thankfully the gods of fire and wind help him and Ravana is no more.
Each double page is bright, full of colour and representative of the Diwali festival itself where colour is so significant. The illustrations would be great for any school aged child to absorb but the text itself I feel would be best suited to 6 years old and up.
This is a great read that introduces readers to a religious festival and embraces the Indian cultures also explaining the significance of a diva lamp at the end of the book.
My girls and I enjoyed making rangoli patterns with different shaped paper which in turn encouraged lots of discussion around shapes.
If you are celebrating Diwali, from my family to yours, Happy Diwali.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publishers however, all words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.