Spring -- Mardi Gras

Ancona, George.  CARNIVAL.  Photos by the author.   San Diego: Harcourt, 1999.  unp.
    0-15-201793-3; hb., $18.00.     98-47297    Gr.1-7    394.26

    Carnival, like Mardi Gras, is celebrated just before Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lent.  Ancona, who has set a standard of excellence for photo essays, has created a colorful book about celebrating Carnival in Olinda, Brazil.  Although Portuguese is the language of Brazil, similar celebrations are held in Europe and Spanish speaking countries in Latin America.  Spanish teacher, Vicki Papore, says “The photographs are incredible!  They give the reader a real feeling of being at Carnival.  This book held my interest.   I would read it to my students during the carnival season to promote discussion on the subject.  February is summer in South America and Ancona shows people making masks and puppets during that season.”   In a note from the author at the end of the book, Ancona mentions how and why Europeans celebrate carnival.  This is a colorful addition to libraries where information on other cultures or holidays is needed.
    GUEST REVIEWER: Vicki Leathers-Papoure, Spanish teacher,
     Negaunee Middle School and Negaunee High School, Negaunee, MI
     7 years of experience as a Spanish Language teacher.

Shaik, Fatima.  ON MARDI GRAS DAY.  Illus by Floyd Cooper.  New York:  Dial, 1999.
    32p.  04; hb., $16.99    02; lib.bdg., $1.89    9710588    PreS-3   E

    This story is told in the first person by a girl who, with her younger brother, dresses up to watch the Zulu and Rex Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.   After the parades they eat gumbo, fried chicken, and other delights with their family.  An Author's Note at the back of the book tells more about Mardi Gras.  Cooper's oil illustrations capture the text and the spirit of the festival.  There are not many Mardi Gras books and this one is a solid purchase for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

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