Bilingual Book Review: Deepak’s Diwali

Deepak’s Diwali
Written by Divya Karwal
Illustrated by Doreen Lang
Paperback
Ages 3-8
Review by Maureen Pugh

Diwali, also called Deepavali or Divali, is a festival that is significant in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is known as the “Festival of Lights,” and celebrates the victory of good over evil.

In Deepak’s Diwali, it is the eve of Diwali, and Deepak’s grandmother tells him the story of the demon king Ravana who steals the god Rama’s wife, Sita. Deepak spends the first half of the story worried that Ravana is following him, but soon gets into the spirit of the holiday.

This contemporary story explains how the festival is celebrated with sparklers and lights, prayer, and feasting. It mentions the beautiful Rangoli Patterns, which Deepak and his mother create on their doorstep to welcome their visitors, and describes all kinds of delicious foods and treats. The story portrays this holiday as a wonderful family celebration.

Doreen Lang’s illustrations are vibrant and bold. They show Deepak and his friends and family both in everyday clothes as well as dressed in their lovely saris and traditional costumes. The gods described in the legends are depicted beautifully. The illustrations also show diversity as Deepak’s best friend, who is Caucasian, and Deepak’s disabled cousin, who uses a wheelchair, share in all the festivities.

Deepak’s Diwali is a beautiful introduction of Diwali for children who may not be familiar with the holiday. For those children who do celebrate Diwali, it is a lovely depiction of the celebration. As a bonus, in the back of the book, there are recipes for mango lassi and halwa pudding, as well as some Rangoli patterns.

Deepak’s Diwali is a vailable in English with Arabic, Bengali, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Nepali, Panjabi, Polish, Tamil and Urdu

If you’re interested in purchasing this book or CD please visit the webpage at: http://www.languagelizard.com/Deepak_s_Diwali_p/diw.htm

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