Saturday 23 October 2021

What Do You Do To Celebrate?

What Do You Do To Celebrate? by Ashleigh Barton, illustrated by Martina Heiduczek (HarperCollins/ABC Books) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9780733341595

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

All over the world, kids and their families celebrate the Christmas and New Year season in many different ways. ‘Yonatan strolls in the snow to see Old City windows glow’, while ‘On St Basil’s Day, George will wake, ready to bake the New Year’s cake’. There are dances and dragons, fireworks and feasts, lanterns and lights. Although they may seem unrelated, these traditional festivities share one important element – they mark the end of one year and the start of another with unbridled happiness and hope.

Following on from the success of What Do You Call Your Grandpa?, Ashleigh Barton turns her attention to the ways we observe the holidays. Using the comforting pattern of rhyming couplets, she takes readers aged four and older on a journey from decorated department-store windows in Sydney to the Junkanoo parade in the Bahamas and the Lunar New Year in China. The evocative text is explained in more detail at the end of the book, offering a helpful dose of history and context.

With the strong colours and dynamic lines in her illustrations, Martina Heiduczek adds a cheerful and compelling layer to the book. Pyrotechnics whiz across the pages, while processions explode with painted faces and vivid costumes. Children remain at the forefront of each image, ensuring a solid connection between the young reader and the various protagonists.


Playful and visually appealing, What Do You Do To Celebrate? is sure to be read not only at Christmas but also right through the year. It revels in the universality of joy and love, and rejoices in humanity’s mutual enthusiasm for fun, food and frivolity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.