Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Susan Titus Osborn and Christine Tangvald, illustrated by Jodie McCallum
For each country there is a double page with delightful pictures of ethnic children. They introduce themselves with their name and how their name is to be pronounced.
The children we meet in the book tell where they live, and what kind of homes they have and some details about their families. They tell us about what activities they like to do with their families and some of their favorite things to do to as they celebrate Christmas. They also tell us if there are any other celebrations at this same time of year.
Each child teaches us how say Merry Christmas in his or her own language. A pronunciation guide helps us so we can say it correctly. In China the moms make yummy candy from rice flour and sugar and they set off fireworks. In Russia they like to dress up as a beautiful granddaughter of the forest, or as a beast from the forest. In Mexico they make a piñata which is filled with candy oranges and peanuts. They hang it from a tree and WHACK! and SMACK! it until SMASH! CRASH! and the nuts spill all over the ground so they can scramble to get all the treats. (Instructions in the back of the book tell how to make your own piñata.) In Africa their favorite Christmas song is “Silent Night, Holy Night” because they were taught it by missionaries that came to Africa. They like to do a Christmas program for their family. In Saudi Arabia they build a big bonfire of thorns and then later jump three times in the ashes and make a wish.
In France they like to splash in the Mediterranean Sea. Later they make clay figurines called santons for their nativity. (Recipe for santons in the back of the book). In Hawaii they roast a whole pig in a deep charcoal pit for their Christmas luau. In Brazil they set up a presepio or nativity scene with life –size figures of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. In Sri Lanka they weave placemats out of reeds from by the river, and then make green, red, yellow, red and blue paper chains to hang on their Christmas tree and to decorate at the church. In Norway they make a special Christmas rice pudding (recipe in back of book) . “God Jul”
This is a darling book, with interesting facts and beautiful pictures, appropriate for children 3-8 yrs old.
Note: This is from my book collection, and we have had it for years. Unfortunately, I discovered it is now very expensive from Amazon. If you are interested in finding a copy I suggest you check at used books stores and you may get lucky and find a gently used copy.
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