Festival of Colors
Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal, Authors
Vashti Harrison, Illustrator
Beach Lane Books, Fiction, Jan. 30, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 2-8
Themes: Holi, Indian Festival, Feasts, Dance, Family, Friends, Community, Multicultural
Opening: Guavas are ripening. Lotuses are blooming. And Holi, the Indian festival of colors, is almost here.
Synopsis: A brother and sister, Mintoo and Chintoo, are excited about the upcoming Indian spring festival of colors, Holi. They gather baskets of red hibiscus flowers, purple orchids, orange marigolds, and blue irises. They dry the flowers before they remove all of the petals. Then they crush the petals into fine powders. When the special day arrives, family, friends and neighbors dress in white and gather with their bowls of colorful powders. Everyone begins to toss the colors and shout “Holi, hai!”
Why I like this book:
Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal have created a visually appealing, joyful and celebratory book that introduces children to Holi, an Hindu festival of colors. The annual spring festival offers Indians “fresh starts, friendship and forgiveness.” It also introduces children to a different culture, home life and a strong sense of community. Everyone sings, dances and feasts during the celebration.
Children will learn about how dried colorful flower petals, will create vibrant colors of red, yellow, blue, and purple powders. They will also learn how to prepare the beautiful colorful powders.
Vashti Harrison’s illustrations are a feast for the eyes and senses. Her artwork communicates the sheer joy of the event! I especially like how she shows the diversity of skin-tones among the Indian community. Some are very light and others very brown. This is something I noticed immediately because I have an adopted son from India who is very dark. He would see himself in this book.
Readers will learn from the book’s endnotes that Holi celebrates “inclusiveness, new beginnings, and the triumph of good over evil.” This book is a treasure and belongs in every classroom!
Resources: Use the book to create your own colorful powders from flowers in your yard. All the steps are in the book.
Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal are the authors of A Bucket of Blessings and The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
11 thoughts on “Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal”
What a delightful, colourful book. A great way for kids to learn about another culture. (you know I’m big on that!)
Yes, you are! It is a gorgeous book. There is so much to love about this book.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I love the joy & colors that this book shows! I especially like that the authors include recipes for natural dyes – I love gardening & have fond memories of my father using plants from the garden for Easter eggs one spring. Thanks for sharing!
What a cool memory to have of coloring your Easter eggs with colorful plants. I love that. After reading this story, kids will want to make their own colors. This is such a beautiful story.
When I taught ESL there was never a book on Holi. This is gorgeous!
There is now. I also saw a board book for younger children that looked interesting. This book is a keeper. Kids will love it!
I wasn’t aware of this festival, Patricia, so would find this book very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
It is a beautiful story and kids will love learning about different cultures — and making colors from flower petals!
LikeLiked by 1 person
It sounds fun!
This is a beautiful book. Love the colourful cover.
Everything about the book is beautiful!