Cover Image: Archie Celebrates Diwali

Archie Celebrates Diwali

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This is a good book that follows Archie has she invites some school friends to celebrate Diwali with her family. It's not a 'beginners' introduction to Diwali in my opinion, although the book does explain the origins and meaning of the festival, quite a lot of the specific words such as 'Rangoli', or 'diva' are used throughout the text without explanation. That being said, there is a glossary of terms and a fantastic few fact pages at the end of the story. 
In the classroom, I'd use this text with probably Year 2 and up -  children who would hopefully be familiar with Diwali and could build on that knowledge whilst also developing empathy and understanding towards different cultures.  I also think this book would be a great tool for Hindu children who live within western-heavy communities to read; it talks a lot about Archie's worries about sharing her culture and shows how her friends reactive positively. 

The book is relatively text heavy, it's got a clear plot line to it - there is a powercut during the festivities that cause everything to pause - though this also makes it not just a story about Diwali so it's worth considering the purpose of you reading the text.
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Review to come September 3rd to blog/goodreads.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I am always interested in books about cultures and festivities. In this book we see Archie try to celebrate a festivity called Diwali. I have heard from it before, so I know some details, but I was eager to learn more and see her celebrate it. 

In this gorgeously drawn book we see how Archie tries to make her whole house beautiful for her friends, which had me wondering why she never checked the weather report? I mean, I wouldn't decorate the whole house if I knew a storm was coming, haha. I was a bit sad, because Archie kept worrying about her friends, who never experienced Diwali. Would they like it? Wouldn't they mind having so many adults around? What about the food? Isn't it too hot. She kept worrying about EVERYTHING. Girl, don't worry so much, is what I wanted to say to her. I am sure they will love it. Just give it a shot. 

It was great to see how Archie got totally in the story of Diwali, she is a great story-teller. And her friends agree with me as they are totally into the story. Totally love it!

I loved how the rest of the evening went and was just so delighted for Archie. It was truly a Diwali miracle. I loved seeing the party commence and see the adults and the kids have tons and tons of fun. Eating food, lighting fireworks, dancing, and more. It was a Diwali to remember.

All in all, a very heartwarming and sweet read! I am so happy I had the chance to read it. I am also happy to see some extra information + glossary near the end! That was a fun addition. I would recommend this one to all.
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Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest Review.

 Archie Celebrates Diwali, by Mitali Banerjee Ruths's is a beautiful illustrated and written story introducing Diwali to young readers in a relatable manner. Archie invites friends to participate in the Diwali celebration with her family.  Great characterization, dialect, and colorful.

I highly recommend this book to introduce students to new cultural holidays
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Archie Celebrates Diwali by Mitali Banerjee Ruths is a cute read about a young girl, Archie, that invites her friends to their first Diwali celebration. She’s nervous that her friends won’t like the food, her outfit, or the activities! This book would be great to read in a classroom during Diwali or even at home to introduce different celebrations and holidays to children. The pictures were very bright, fun, and flowed along with the story. The inclusion and representation in this book is very nice to see.
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Nice intro to Diwali for kids! The festival of lights causes much aniety for Archie. She's invited some friends to her families celebration od Diwali and the power fails due to a storm. I thought the story was one kids could easily relate to. The illustrations were very nice. I don;t have coloron my Kindle, but am sure the book will be much enhanced by color! Great tale! Make a nice addition to a collection of holidays.
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Thanks to Charlesbridge Publishing + NetGalley for the e-advance copy of ARCHIE CELEBRATES DIWALI by Mitali Banerjee Ruths, illustrated by Parwinder Singh.  Expected publication date September 14, 2021.

A gorgeously illustrated and perfectly told story about Archie who is celebrating Diwali with her family and invites her friends to the celebration for the first time.  From the mixed emotions that Archie feels (excitement for her favorite holiday but uncertainty about sharing something different), the sense of celebration surrounding Diwali, and the learning throughout the picture book, A must read for children, parents, and educators.
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4.5 stars.

The story follows Archana ‘Archie’ as she prepares to celebrate Diwali, with her family and is unable to understand why the festival doesn’t hold as much significance to her friends at school as it does to her. 

This is the book I needed when I was a kid.  I loved seeing Archie’s love and adoration for her culture, but also her fears and doubts when thinking about sharing something so special with her friends. This book is beautifully illustrated and effectively showcases the key aspects of Diwali. The overall reasoning as to why Diwali is celebrated is relatively simple, but it works for the age-group this book is targeted at and provides an introductory glance into the traditions and culture surrounding the festival.

I don’t want to get too political here as I understand that religion and culture and its expression are different to everyone. However, I did want to acknowledge the fact that I greatly appreciated the significance and respect the Ramayan (an epic Sanskrit poem and revered religious text) was given in the glossary/ information section towards the end. As a text that is still to this day, viewed as  key source of religious insight, it was refreshing to see it given its due reverence and not simply termed as ‘Hindu mythology’ (which is an extremely harmful term, please stop using it! If you must, try using phrases such as stories derived from the Hindu faith, or based on the Hindu/ Indian epic etc). 

Overall, this was wonderful to read and it is nice to know that children’s books are taking a step in the right direction in regard to diversity and inclusion.  

Thank you to Netgalley and Charlesbridge Publishing for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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ARCHIE CELEBRATES DIWALI - MITALI BANERJEE RUTHS
PUBLISHED BY - CHARLESBRIDGE

Archie invites her  few friend's home for diwali party but due to a storm electricity is out and now she wonders and worries whether her friends will enjoy the  party or not.

A simple easy to understand book with beautiful clear and bright illustrations makes it a very appealing picture book ideal for kids aged 2 - 6 years.

A perfect book esp for Indians living abroad , their friends and family and most important a book to be kept in libraries to expose all the kids to different cultures.
At the end of the book in glossary some Indian words and things are explained along with an activity to make your own Diyas !!
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It is so fun to learn about other cultures, so I believe this cute picture book will appeal to both to children that don't celebrate Diwali, as well as children who do, as it will show that there is nothing wrong with sharing your holiday.

Archie is scared that her friends won't enjoy the food or the celebration, but it turns out that they have as much fun as she does, and love the food too. And she tells the story of how it is both a celebration of light, as well as a triumph of good over evil.

Bright, colorful pictures, earnest, yet unsure young girl, and friends that certainly do not make fun of her, but ask the right questions.

All in all, a delightful book.

<em> Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.</em>
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Don’t we all want our favourite holidays to be loved by everyone else? Archie (short for Archana) also wants her friends to appreciate her favourite festival of Diwali. But she is quite worried that her friends won’t understand the what’s and why’s behind the celebration. This leads to a lot of insecurity in her mind, compounded by the unexpected downpour and electricity failure. But soon Archie discovers that the message behind Diwali is universally valid and light always triumphs over darkness, even when there’s no electricity.

The overall story was nicely written. The actual reason behind the celebration of Diwali is stated in an over-simplified form. I suppose that’s ok considering the target age group and target market for the book. But a part of the information in the main story conflicts with the story of the Ramayana as mentioned at the end of the book. 

The language used is pretty easy to understand. Children will enjoy the customs associated with Diwali as firecrackers get a special mention. I do wish there had been some focus on the non-noisy part of the celebration too such as the rangoli and special Diwali sweets. Kids will learn how to make their own diya from the information on the last page. 

The illustrations are quite nice. I liked the way the Indian adults were drawn; they seemed quite realistic yet cute. The children (Archie and her friends) are also sketched quite nicely. 

I would have loved the font size to be a little bigger. While it is legible, it’s not too comfortable on the eye.

Overall, the story is good but there was so much potential to make it even better. But it is a good way for children to learn at least the basics of a culture other than your own.

A 3.5 from me, rounding it up to 4.

Thank you, NetGalley and Charlesbridge Publishing, for the Advanced Review Copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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I loved that this book shows different races. It’s very informative about Diwali! I loved the illustrations!
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