Vietnamese Tếtis not just about the Lunar New Year, but it’s also a celebration of spring. I love learning about other cultures’ spring festivals and King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan (Lee and Low) is the perfect children’s book to teach kids about Basant, a spring festival that started as a Hindu celebration but has now crossed religious and cultural boundaries.
King for a Day is about young Malik who aims to win the yearly kite battles in Lahore, Pakistan. On Basant, the skies are filled with vibrant kites of different shapes and sizes. Illustrator Christiane Krömer makes the kites fly off the with mixed media collages. Not only with children learn about the kite battles of Lahore, the book sneaks in a lesson about kindness to others.
After reading King for a Day, I’m looking forward to learning more about this spring festival. There are many enrichment activities you can do with your kids after reading it. Here’s a few crafts and activities that are perfect for preschoolers and older children :
- Make a kite using papers found around your home to create the mixed media collage feel of the book’s illustrations. I recommend using sturdy paper cardstock or construction paper as the base. For inspiration, check out the kites made by Pakistani children
- “Visit” Lahore, Pakistan. This video gives a virtual tour of the city or visit the Pakistan Tourism site for more detailed info about Lahore’s history and culture.
- Learn how other cultures celebrate Basant. Here’s a site for kids that shares how India celebrates the spring festival. ThingsAsian.com has great photos of Basant in Lahore.
Those are just a few things you can do to teach kids about Basant.
How does your culture celebrate spring? Learn more about how our family celebrates spring with my Lunar New Year children’s book list.
I received copy of King for a Day as a participant of Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature on January 27, created by Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. Check out the full list of fabulous bloggers who are participating, so that you can learn of new books to help expand your child’s library and world!
A word of thanks to the sponsors of this event and for helping promote diversity in children’s literature. Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & LowBooks, Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad: Author of My Grandfather’s Masbaha.
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