Tari: The Little Balinese Dancer (Multicultural Children’s Book Day)

tariTitle: Tari: The Little Balinese Dancer

Author: Pamela Noensie
Illustrator: Garretta Lamore
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing, 2013
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 6-9
Themes: Dance, Balinese Culture

Opening Lines:
“This is a story of Bali, the people who live there, and especially of one little girl named Tari.

Bali is an island, one of many in a country called Indonesia. Bali is close to the equator so it stays near the sun all year long. Mornings are beautiful, warm, and full of light.”

Synopsis (from Tuttle Publishing website):

Tari lives on the beautiful island of Bali with her family and friends. She lives a wonderful life, marked by all the things that make Bali special—the lively temple celebrations which occur regularly in her village, the gorgeous surroundings, the warm feelings of her Balinese neighbors, and, most importantly, dance.

Tari lives to dance. Just like her beloved grandmother, dance exists for both of them as a favorite art form. One day, Tari’s grandmother gives her a special gift—but shortly after, she passes away. In a special ceremony, Tari and her family bid goodbye to her grandmother. Tari gives her grandmother the best gift she knows how to give—a perfect performance of a dance that her grandmother, too, performed when she was very young.

Intended for young girls who love to dance, Tari: The Little Balinese Dancer is a moving tale set on the tropical island of Bali, and it provides an excellent introduction to key aspects of Balinese culture. No matter what her ethnicity, young girls will easily relate to the special themes in this story, including the importance of family and the strong bonds of community, traditions such as the famous Legong dance, death of a family member, and the grieving process. Full of traditional Balinese Hindu beliefs, this story offers the message that kids all over the world are unified in the ways they feel about the people and things they love.


Why I Like This Book:

A beautiful introduction for kids to Bali and its culture. The book isn’t so much a story about Balinese dancing as it is about the Balinese way of life. I especially enjoyed learning about how the Bali homes are said to be laid out in the order of a human body – head is the temple area while the kitchen and garbage area are near the feet. Another interesting tidbit, all temples face the volcano at the center of the island.

The book is laid out like a storybook format with chapters for the 32-paged book. There are one to two spot illustrations on every page.

MCBookDayI am very excited  to be a book reviewer participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature on January 27th, 2014. What is Multicultural Children’s Book Day? It is a national event which  Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom created to celebrate diversity in children’s books. MCCBD team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media. This year’s MCCBD is January 27th!  More about MCCBD and the events this year later in this post. Now onto our book!!

Why is Multicultural Children’s Book Day so important?

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

MCCBD’s  2015 Sponsors include

Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press,Daybreak Press Global Bookshop

Gold SponsorsSatya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof

Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing

Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books,Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

Plus there are some fun events going on including giveaways!!

Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice.

Then for those of you on Twitter: Join us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party on Jan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages.
And to keep up-to-date on MCCBD: MCCBD now has it’s own Paper.li! A Paper.li is a free online newspaper that aggregates information on the topic of multicultural books for kids from all over the Internet. Please feel free subscribe and stay up-to-date with this topic.

MCBD is also partnering with First Book to offer a Virtual Book Drive that will help donate multicultural children’s books through their channels during the week of the event. We want to help get diversity books into the hands of kids who most need it and now we have a way to do it! To donate or more information click here.

Also check out the MCCBD Pinterest Board to see all the books reviews and visit  Jump Into a Book and/or Pragmatic Mom on or after January 27th to see all the reviews in a link party!

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher Tuttle Publishing. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.


2 Comments to “Tari: The Little Balinese Dancer (Multicultural Children’s Book Day)”

  1. Beautiful book Darshana. I must look for this one. I love multicultural stories. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You really chose a beautiful book for the event. What better way to get to know a culture than through its dance and music. Loved the video you shared and enjoyed seeing the instruments used during the dance. Great review. I also reviewed a book.

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