Children’s Book Giveaway: Celebrate Passover and Celebrate Easter.
March 23, 2010

As we venture on the path of introducing our daughter to the world, Donald and I have found that we both value teaching her about other cultures.  And since holidays – religious or otherwise – are a significant part of every culture, we are always on the hunt for books that explain holiday celebrations.

Moreover, although I rarely discuss this online, the truth of the matter is that Donald and I have an interfaith marriage.  Despite our religious differences, we made the decision years ago that we would work together to celebrate both Christian and Jewish holidays in our home.

Naturally, Deborah Heiligman’s books Celebrate Easter and Celebrate Passover appealed to both of us.

It can be tremendously difficult to find books that address two religions’ holidays objectively, so I was thrilled to find that Deborah Heiligman has done so.  Both books do a fantastic job of explaining the holidays and, in true National Geographic style, showing their celebrations internationally.

Best of all, both books have sections at the end that provide additional information.  There is a glossary of terms, a map indicating where the book’s images were taken, a note from a Reverend (Easter) or Rabbi (Passover) about the meaning of each holiday, a list of facts about the holidays, a recipe, and a list of books and websites that parents can turn to with their children to learn more.

Pros: This book is a fantastic way to further explain a holiday you do celebrate or to introduce a child to a holiday that you do not celebrate.  The language is clear and concise and the photographs lend themselves to a discussion about cultural and lifestyle differences the world over.

Cons: None.  These books are best-suited for early readers and they do an excellent job of catering to that age group.

Borrow or Buy: I would buy them both because I feel that these – and the other books in the “Holidays Around the World” series – will be a wonderful addition to any child’s library.  Religion and tradition can be very tricky subjects and I think that these books are written tastefully, respectfully, and objectively.

Reading tip of the week: Try non-fiction.  Some kids prefer stories and others prefer facts.  If your child is not interested in reading picture books, try introducing them to non-fiction books with photographs.  Animals, plants, cultures, sports, and geology are great places to start.  After all, does learning about your world ever get old?

About the publisher: The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest non-profit organizations in the world.  Its purpose is to spread geographic knowledge, increase global understanding and awareness, and promote environmental conservation.

What to do: You can enter this giveaway (for both books) by leaving a comment below telling me how you celebrate your favorite holiday.  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Thursday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winner will be announced Friday morning.  You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to three entries.

For extra entries: As I mentioned above, one of National Geographic’s goals is to promote environmental conservation.  For an additional two entries (total), tell me what efforts you or your family make(s) to keep your environmental impact to a minimum.

Disclosure: I initiated contact with National Geographic Kids, dealt directly with their publicity company, and received one review copy of each book.

To purchase this book: You can buy Celebrate Passover through Amazon.com by clicking here and Celebrate Easter through Amazon.com by clicking here (both links use my affiliate code).  You can also locate a local retailer through Indie Bound.org or purchase the books (and others in the series) directly through National Geographic by clicking here.


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  1. By on March 23, 2010

    LOVE the Holidays Around the World Series. As a person with an incredibly mixed background, multiculturalism has always fascinated me. We even did several years of “Christmas around the world” where I would pick different traditions every year.

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  2. By on March 23, 2010

    I love just spending time with family at Christmas.

    I love the picture of Charlotte in Donald’s lap. You can just tell by her eyes that she is smiling!

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  3. By Sarah Mudder on March 23, 2010

    We celebrate Thanksgiving (fav holiday) by noting what we are grateful for and celebrating the love within our family!

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  4. By Marla on March 23, 2010

    My favorite holiday, hands down, is Thanksgiving. I love making a huge meal, sitting around with family, and stuffing my face.

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  5. By beyond on March 23, 2010

    i think thanksgiving is my favorite holiday too. i especially love how it all about family, and not about religion. family and food, there’s nothing better than that.

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  6. By on March 23, 2010

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love planning/making the meal and I love any excuse for family to come over.  This year I’m really grateful for our little boy who was just born last year.

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  7. By on March 23, 2010

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the family coming together and no presents for anybody! It’s basically a stress free holiday. Sort of.

    Oh, and for environmental impact - we use cloth diapers and recycle…I want to get into composting our vegetable scraps but our landlord doesn’t like the idea.

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  8. By Jessika on March 23, 2010

    I like that you’re concerned about treating them equally. Society won’t (unfortunately), but it’s so good that at home, she’ll have access to information whenever she needs it. I think she’ll be so educated and well-rounded for it!

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  9. By on March 23, 2010

    In fact, Easter is my favorite holiday. I like the idea of a new beginning in springtime, and I love to go to a service at 5 a.m. once a year. Plus, I can just celebrate the occasion without the stress about presents and emotions like at Christmas.
    Evironmental-wise, we buy a “green bag” full of local organic food every two weeks.

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  10. By sara on March 23, 2010

    My husband is a Christian and I am Jewish.  We plan on raising our child (due in August) with a familiarity of both religions as well.

    My favorite holiday is Christmakkuh.  That’s right, it’s Christmas and Hannukah together.  To celebrate this year, we used some food coloring and made red and green latkes (pan fried potato pancakes).  We lit the menorah and decorated our modest tree.  I made a special topper for our tree this year.  It is a nest of two birds and an egg (we found out about our baby 3 days before Christmas).  Next year I will make a small bird to replace the egg.

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  11. By Alicia on March 23, 2010

    Halloween is hands down our favorite holiday. There’s so little pressure to go here and do this and see all of these people, so you can just enjoy yourself. 

    We celebrate every year by having a costume party at our house for all of our friends. We hand make our costumes and give out prizes. Our friends have come to realize our high expectations and so everyone tries to go all out. Also, since the pressure is on to win an award, a lot of people keep their costumes a secret. It’s always so much fun!

    my husband and i do a number of things to reduce out carbon foot print. We use cloth diapers, have invested in HE appliances, buy as much as we can that is made from recycled products, are growing our own fruits and veggies… and much more. That’s not to say we don’t have our carbon-crazed indulgences… but every little bit helps.

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  12. By Jennifer Moore on March 23, 2010

    Your darling daughter looks so into the book. Mine wants to chew on it.

    My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and I love to bake and cook for it.

    Our family’s efforts to keep our environmental impact to a minimum.: cloth diapering; natural/chemical free bathing and cleaning products (although I’m still in the process of going that route; recycling (we recycle more than we throw away).

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  13. By on March 23, 2010

    Jennifer,
    Don’t be fooled by Charlotte.  Sarah is just quick with the camera.  These images were captured during the ever-elusive period between scream and chew.

  14. By Meghan on March 23, 2010

    Easter is my favorite. It’s easier to celebrate my faith than Christmas, which has gotten so commercialized. And I have so many fond Easter memories from my Grandma’s house.

    Green-wise, we cloth diaper, breastfeed, recycle, walk when we can, buy second-hand, bring our own bags to the grocery store, cook alot from scratch, use eco-friendly cleaning products, don’t use paper napkins or paper towels, and this summer we are going to be getting our produce from a local organic farm.

    I want to get better at reducing our energy and water consumption, and am still a little leary about composting…

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  15. By on March 23, 2010

    Our family celebrates Christmas by gathering around and reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.  Daddy is the designated narrator and our children ages 16 and 11 still look forward to this tradition.  We recently welcomed our third child, Cadence, in August of 2009 and she also enjoyed the snuggle and story with her family.

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  16. By on March 23, 2010

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. We spend it with my Dad. It is a calm, no fuss sort of day. No other extended family - just my family (all 6 of us) and my father.

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  17. By on March 23, 2010

    My family always rounds the supper table each holdais with what we are thankful for (thanksgiving) the best part of the year (xmas and nye) and goals for the upcoming summer (easter). Its always opened up a lots of laughs, encouragement and sometimes tears… I LOVE holidays :)

    (26)

  18. By on March 23, 2010

    I like thanksgiving. It’s four days spent with family celebrating. Every other year we go to lake tahoe, and this is the year we’re going. Yippee!

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  19. By on March 24, 2010

    My favorite holiday is Christmas, which to me is about spending time with family. Still thinking about how to approach talking about religion with my Charlotte as I am an agnostic (former Catholic), and my husband is a non-practicing (and rather indifferent) Catholic.

    We started recycling when we bought our house earlier this year, and I’m planning to start composting this spring.

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  20. By on March 24, 2010

    (Yea! Apparently my computer just wanted a day off…)

    Ok, so Halloween in my favorite holiday! We always decorate the house, inside and out. I LOVE watching the kids in their costumes. We have our friends over every year for a ‘party’. We cook out, have games, special candy treats for the kids, and in general have a good time.

    When I was younger we made our own costumes, and I cant wait to do that with Nia!!!!!!!

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  21. By Cynthia Krajcarski on March 24, 2010

    My favourite holiday is Christmas. I would love to spend Christmas waking up late and opening presents with our many children and hopefully that’s what it will be like once we have so many kids that we all can’t fit into one car. However, we currently spend Christmas in a MAD rush… Christmas starts with Christmas Eve Dinner (both Luke and I have Euro backgrounds), we run around and visit everyone and then it doesn’t end until Boxing Day Leftovers Dinner.

    We’re also trying to be a very ‘green’ house. We just ordered cloth diapers and I’m making the switch to cloth wipes, I use cotton mesh bags when I shop for produce, we use reusable shopping bags, we try to buy items with the least amount of non-recyclable packaging, we compost, we recycle, I try to use cold water when laundering, we CELEBRATE Earth Hour, all our toilets are dual-flush, all our shower heads have those water efficiency things on them, we use CFLs and dimmers where we can’t use CFLs, our TV is on for (maybe) 4 hours a day, we keep our house pretty cool in the winter and pretty warm in the summer, I line dry most of my laundry in the warm weather, we’re in the middle of making the switch to green cleaning and laundry products (we’re just waiting for some products to run out), we use containers rather than a Ziploc bag or plastic wrap for leftovers like half an avocado or the rest of the brick of cheese. I think that’s it… For now.

    Clearly, I think being green is keen.

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  22. By on March 24, 2010

    My favorite holiday would definitely be Christmas.  Not because of the presents, but because this is the one holiday where we not only celebrate family, we also have a big peirogi making day.  We seriously will make dozens upon dozens of the best homemade sauerkraut and farmers cheese peirogi!  Not to mention, I have been promoted from Boiler to Dough Kneader!  This is quite a big deal as I have been helping make peirogi since I was about 12 and I am now 25. So definitely my favorite holiday of all time!

    And how do I help keep our planet green?  I use energy saving light bulbs, pile on the blankets in the winter-time, cloth bags for grocery shopping, and I drink my water from a reusable container.  These are just a few of the easy day to day stuff I do on top of recycling regularly (especially in my class room!) and walking to places that aren’t very far.

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  23. By on March 24, 2010

    We celebrate Easter by going to church and then eating lunch together as a family and contemplating Christ’s sacrifice. My mother-in-law still buys her two grown sons and me an Easter basket!  LOL

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  24. By Cynthia on March 24, 2010

    We love celebrating the holidays (any one) just together as a family.  It does not matter what we are doing or where we are, as long as we are together is all that matters!

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  25. By Rachel on March 24, 2010

    Wow, I’m so glad you commented on my blog and that I found yours in return. It’s beautiful and I love the photography!

    Anyway, I’d LOVE to have these books as we’re Christians and celebrate Passover. My daughter loves to sit and “read”, too, so I’d be quite a happy camper to win this. :-)

    SOOOOOOOOOO…my favorite holidays are Christmas and Passover! Christmas because it’s just so darn fun and pretty, Passover because it’s so impactful and meaningful when you view it from the perspective of Christ being the passover lamb.

    How neat that you and your husband are able to have both the Jewish and Christian perspective!

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  26. By Rachel on March 24, 2010

    Entry # 2:

    We use cloth diapers, natural cleaning products, buy used, breastfeed, use re-usable lunch packaging, etc..

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  27. By on March 24, 2010

    The number one most important thing about holidays, Christmas most of all, is that it is spent with family.  Best part of Christmas is when dad reads The Night Before Christmas and the parts of Luke that talk about Jesus’s birth on Christmas Eve right before we all go to bed.

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  28. By on March 24, 2010

    #2

    We got a Vespa for the gas mileage (and the awesomeness!!), it gets around 60 mpg.  We also have chickens so that we can get our own eggs.  I have tried a vegetable garden but plants elude me, all I got last year was three meger pumpkins.  Also we recycle everything possible.

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  29. By erin on March 24, 2010

    My favorite holiday, hands down, is Thanksgiving.  It’s like Christmas without all the hype.  All the yummy food (ohmygosh I love turkey dinner with all the trimmings) and the big noisy family and good wine and cool weather and cozy sweaters, and the house smells good and everyone is in the kitchen talking and laughing and bumping into each other and making fun of one another while everyone peels potatoes.  And none of the stress of shopping and gifts like Christmas.  FABULOUS.  We don’t have any specific “traditions” beyond the usual meal, but I still love Thanksgiving best of anything.

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  30. By Heidi on March 24, 2010

    Too much pressure!  I didn’t comment yesterday because I couldn’t think of my favorite holiday…then I realized, they’re all kind of the same, because we always celebrate together with family!  :)  My parents, my sisters and their husbands, nieces and nephews, and now my own child.  I love getting together with my family to celebrate ANY holiday.

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  31. By Katelyn on March 25, 2010

    Those look like great books for my classroom :)  I am becoming more and more green.  One way we save money and be green is to buy bulk yougurt, juice, veggies, etc….When I pack Brooklyn’s lunch I pack her yogurt and juice in plastic (BPA free) containers and the sitter washes them out an returns them to me.  NO need for individual packaging…..

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  32. By Myrtie on April 05, 2010

    Hello there, Happy Easter 2010!!!


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