Review: Come and Join Us! 18 Holidays Celebrated All Year Long

Come and Join Us! 18 Holidays Celebrated All Year Long

by Liz Kleinrock, illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat

Harper (imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), 2023

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Lila Spitz

Come and Join Us by ant-bias and ant-racist educator Liz Kleinrock invites readers to listen and learn from a diverse group of students about eighteen holidays celebrated throughout the year. Each holiday is introduced by a student whose family participates in its traditions. Important clothes, foods, and activities integral to the holiday are described and their importance is explained. The book concludes with the message that celebrating holidays with loved ones is the best part of all.

Vibrant digital illustrations appropriately complement the themes of celebration. Word color alternates between black and white to provide contrast with the colorful background. The glossary provides helpful and accurate definitions of terms related to specific holidays for reference.

The Jewish holidays of Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur are authentically and accurately featured in this book of eighteen non-winter holidays. Factual information on the pages of the three Jewish holidays increase Jewish and non-Jewish readers' understanding of the traditions. I recommend that this book be included in public, school, and classroom library collections as a window into the holiday traditions of people who celebrate minority cultural and religious events.The positive and authentic portrayal of Jewish holidays in this anthology make it an excellent candidate for the Sydney Taylor Book Award.

Are you interested in reviewing books for The Sydney Taylor Shmooze? Click here!

Reviewer Lila Spitz is a Children's Librarian at the New York Public Library. She is currently serving on the 2023 Storytime Collection Committee and volunteers for Diverse BookFinder. She received her MLIS from the Catholic University of America and is from the D.C. area.