Celebratory and Diverse: Read our Review of The Big Book of Festivals by Marita Bullock and Joan-Maree Hargreaves

Celebratory and Diverse: Read our Review of The Big Book of Festivals by Marita Bullock and Joan-Maree Hargreaves

Co-authored by Marita Bullock and Joan-Maree Hargreaves, and illustrated by the talented Liz Rowland, The Big Book of Festivals is everyone’s guide to fantastic festivities, crazy celebrations and holy holidays from across the globe.

From tomato-throwing parties to graveside picnics, fire-walking ceremonies, crying baby competitions and the biggest bathing festival on Earth – this book introduces you to some of the world’s most incredible cultural and religious celebrations.

Some festivals are fun and joyful, with strong ties to cultural traditions and customs. Others are more serious in their commitment to the worship of a god, spiritual being, or a religious occasion. No matter what their origin, or what their traditions are, each festival brings people together to mark big events in life and significant occasions.

This book includes some of the world’s largest festivals including Eid Ul-Fitr, Halloween, Christmas, and the Lunar New Year, as well as smaller, regional festivals such as the Festival of Giants (yes, giants!), Konaki Sumo (the Japanese crying baby festival) and Anasternaria (an incredible fire-walking ritual) in Northern Greece.

Text and illustrations work in tandem to present the information, keeping young readers at the forefront of the book’s content. At the beginning of the book there’s a prompt for readers to keep an eye out for an illustrated child (one for each festival). I particularly appreciated this feature as each illustrated child acts as a mnemonic cue for its associated festival. This not only enables children to more easily recall the festival, but also encourages children to stay actively engaged with each page.

Hargreaves is inspired by the bravery and optimism of children, and is driven to tell stories about ‘real’ life in a visually and captivating and unexpected way. Similarly, Bullock has published numerous articles on art and the visualisation of ‘difference,’ while Liz Rowland explores the interactions between people and our environment through art.

Combining Bullock, Hargreaves, and Rowland’s collective expertise and special interests, The Big Book of Festivals captures the essence of diversity, harmony, and the experience of celebrations through storytelling and illustrations.

This book is filled with colourful symbols and motifs that mark diverse traditions, customs and beliefs. I recommend it for readers aged 7+ and for anyone who wants to feast, sing, cry, and celebrate the diversity of festivals and traditions this wonderful world of ours has to offer.

Reviews

Seasonal, Regional and Global: Read an Extract from The Big Book of Festivals by Marita Bullock and Joan-Maree Hargreaves

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8 April 2021

Seasonal, Regional and Global: Read an Extract from The Big Book of Festivals by Marita Bullock and Joan-Maree Hargreaves

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Synopsis

Join us to celebrate festivals from all around the world. Kids and adults alike will adore this stunning illustrated collection of fantastic festivities, crazy celebrations and holy holidays, from graveside picnics to epic dance-offs, tomato-throwing frenzies, crying-baby competitions and the biggest bathing ritual on the planet.
Joan-Maree Hargreaves
About the author

Joan-Maree Hargreaves

Joan-Maree Hargreaves is inspired by the bravery and optimism of children. She is driven by a desire to tell stories about 'real' life in a visually captivating and unexpected way. She has a special interest in social justice and representations of diversity. Joan-Maree has worked in publishing and magazines for more than a decade and has edited a number of Australian and international children's titles including National Geographic Kids (Australia and New Zealand), K-Zone (Australia) and Kraze Club (United Kingdom and Germany). She has also written hundreds of articles for The Sydney Morning Herald, including specialised educational supplements for children.

Books by Joan-Maree Hargreaves

Marita Bullock
About the author

Marita Bullock

Marita Bullock has worked as an academic and secondary school teacher across the fields of Cultural Studies, Film, Art and Literature, most recently at the University of Sydney. She has published numerous articles on art and the visualisation of 'difference', and her academic book - Memory Fragments: Visualising Difference in Australian History - investigates the relationship between object fragments and cultural memory in Australian art, museums and culture (Intellect Ltd.) 

Books by Marita Bullock

Liz Rowland
About the author

Liz Rowland

Liz Rowland is a British Illustrator with a particular interest in people and cultures. Since graduating from Falmouth University in 2011, Liz has worked with clients including Vogue, Gourmet Traveller and Visit Britain. Liz's work is hand rendered, using a combination of gouache and watercolour. She is inspired by colour and pattern. Through her work Liz explores our interactions both with each other and with our environment.

Books by Liz Rowland

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