In her new home in the West, far from the warmth and familiarity of her native New Delhi, Gita anticipates celebrating the Hindu festival Divali-""Fireworks, lots of them-that's what Divali was all about."" Surely such a light show will dispel the November gloom. But as Gita prepares for the holiday, ""needles of ice stung the windows."" In the freezing rain expectations turn to disappointments. Friends cancel their visits and, even more grievously, Papa must postpone the fireworks. As the girl compares the day with her memories of joyfully observed traditions, Mummy reminds her, ""Divali is really about filling the darkness with light. Fireworks can't do it for us. We must do it ourselves."" After they light the diyas (small pots of mustard oil) at each window, the storm causes an electrical failure, and Gita's home seems the only place of light in the vast darkness. The unexpected splendor of ice and dancing light gives Gita a meaningful new perspective. Accompanied by Priestly's soft, warm-hued watercolors, Gilmore's smooth prose and thoughtful imagery invite readers into Gita's not-so-foreign world. Ages 5-up. (June)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994 Release date: 11/01/1994 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.