Holidays and Festivals Activities


64 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-86505-121-6
DDC 790.1




Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.


The bright, enticing cover of this book promises much more than the
bland contents actually deliver. The subject matter of this slim
craft/activity book for primary graders is organized into five major
sections: “Charting Changes,” “Special People,” “Celebrating
Light,” “Planting and Harvesting,” and “Just for Fun.” In
turn, each section is subdivided into three to five activities.

The connection between many of the activities and a holiday or festival
is frequently most tenuous. For example, under “Charting Changes,” a
theme that grows out of the idea that some days—such as birthdays and
New Year’s—mark a change, children are invited to watch clouds or to
paint using ice cubes. In the same category, as an extension of
Valentine’s Day, children are to take their pulse. Sometimes a list of
“Books to Read” accompanies an activity, but the listing provides no
indication of the books’ audience levels or their contents.
Instructions accompanying some of the how-to-make activities
occasionally assume a higher level of knowledge/ skill than some young
readers might have. In making “Dough Decorations,” for instance,
readers are instructed to “knead the dough,” an activity that will
likely be unknown to some readers and that is not taught by the
accompanying illustration.

On the positive side, the book is profusely illustrated with full-color
photos, drawings, and paintings that reflect Canada’s cultural mosaic.
Decorative illustrations, however, are just not enough. Not recommended.


Smith, Debbie., “Holidays and Festivals Activities,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,