Author: Pamela Noensie
Illustrator: Garretta Lamore
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing, 2013
Book Type: Fiction
Themes: Dance, Balinese Culture
“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.
- Watch video clips of traditional Balinese dance. Kids performing Balinese dance.
- Asia Education Site (Indonesia) – contains fast facts, activity sheets and more
- Learn how to do Batik, a wax-resist fabric dyeing technique that originated in Indonesia.
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.
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
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.
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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.
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.