Kneeling Carabao & Dancing Giants: Celebrating Filipino Festivals Rena Krasno
Illustrated by Ileana C. Lee
In the Dragon Books series (Suzanne Williams's Made in China, 1997, etc.), a look at the culture of the 7,107 islands of the Philippines, launched with the festivals that celebrate the origins of the Filipino people. The statistics in an introductory chapter are daunting: 70,000,000 people, 87 languages, 3,000,000 words in the main language of Pilipino. Krasno makes clear that the heart of Filipino culture is in the divergent backgrounds of those who came to the islands--from China, Spain, the Middle East, Portugal--and in the honor-bound blending of the old with the new that results in so many celebrations that ``you couldn't go to every festival if you tried.'' In chapters named for some of the events--e.g., ``Celebrating Rice, the Ati-Atihan Festival'' and ``Festival of the Higantes''--Krasno gives background and adds stories, songs, recipes, and games. It's a robust sampler of an obviously rich and varied culture, fortified by Lee's vibrant folk-art paintings--a book to help Filipino- American children honor their heritage (as part of the ``second- largest group of Asian-Americans'' in the US) or to fill a niche in multicultural collections.
This is an exceptional introduction to Filipino festivals: exceptional because there's relatively little written on Filipino history and culture for either kids or adults, in this country. This requires excellent reading skills and kids at the advanced elementary through middle school grades will be the obvious audience for the book; but many an adult seeking detailed information on Filipino festivals will find this unique, blending the story of Philippine independence with notes on various cultural contributions to festivals. Highly recommended for its depth of information and many color embellishments. -- Midwest Book Review
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Pacific View Press (May 1, 1997)
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.5 x 11.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces