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I’d like to thank authors Shweta Chopra and Shuchi Mehta for sharing their book The Diwali Gift with me.
In the Diwali Gift , three curious monkeys, Suno, Dekho, and Jaano get together for a playdate when a mysterious box from their grandmother appears.
What could be inside ?
Sparklers ? Bracelets ? Small lights known as divas?
No none of the above.
Inside is something very special to use on the night of Diwali. A special something which grants the owner their wishes to come true. To find out what the special something is, you’ll have to read the book.
This book is a simple and lovely story that invites us to share in the Hindu festival of Diwali. The Diwali Gift is fun, entertaining, and wonderfully educational. One truly feels the spirit, anticipation and festive feeling of the holiday.
“Diwali also known as Deepavali and the “festival of lights”, is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes. On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja (prayers), fireworks follow, then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated.”
The illustrations by Anna Koan are fun and captivating. There is a glossary in the back of the book as well as an explanation of Diwali and how one celebrates it.
I advise reading the glossary before hand so you can clarify the story when reading it to children. I greatly enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
Somethings To Do:
Kim Vij from The Educator’s Spin on it has some really wonderful Diwali Activities.
Have a look at how the Activity Village celebrated Diwali.
3 Curious Monkey’s has a wonderful Dress Up Party app on iTunes
Playing dress up is always fun. But its even more fun dressing up your favorite monkey in traditional Indian fabrics and accessories while learning to compliment in eight different languages. (for ages 4-8). Download the App HERE.
Need more gift ideas? Books are always a great choice! NOW AVAILABLE!
The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook by Donna Ashton.