By: AuntieCam, Guest Blogger
As March gets underway, many communities will celebrate Fat Tuesday, the last day before the Christian season of Lent. Those in Texas may be most familiar with Mardi Gras, an event most often associated with New Orleans, but the same day is referred to as Carnival throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, and as Shrove Tuesday in other parts of the world.
All these names have their roots in, and refer to that lone Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, when people would use up the last of the “rich food” before they abstained for the Lenten season. If you plan to celebrate any version of this holiday, or if you will recognize it in your own special way, look to these books to share the holiday with the young people in your life.
The Bourbon Street Band Is Back (Shankman & O’Neill) In this book, a very special band of animals plays in the heart of New Orleans. Their songs are so special that they “play like lightening mixed with lemonade.” This book allows children to learn about animals and instruments and introduces them to the musical history of New Orleans. With continuous rhymes, young readers will likely start to “read” along!
Mardi Gras In the Country (Fontenot & Soper) If your readers are a bit older, or if they are already familiar with the more well-known New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations, you might try Mardi Gras in the County. This book covers the tradition as it is celebrated in many Cajun communities in Southern Louisiana. This is a great book to expose readers to a regional culture, and to start discussions about how different cultures celebrate the same holiday.
Malaika’s Costume (Hohn & Luxbacher) This book focuses on the Caribbean celebration of Carnival. Malaika is excited to dance in the next Carnival, but there is a problem, her costume is not complete. With the generosity and support of her community, she is finally able to bring together her costume. This book also talks about parents who are far away, working to provide for their families, and may be a source of comfort for young readers who have seen this in their own communities.
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast (Funk & Kearney) While not specifically a book about Shrove Tuesday, for those that celebrate Fat Tuesday (or any fan of pancakes) will enjoy this book about two breakfast friends fighting for the last drop of syrup. The imagery described through the whimsical journey through the refrigerator is just fun to read and hear.
Do you have special plans for Fat Tuesday this year? Which books will be a part of this celebration?