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Celebrating Norouz (Yassaman Jalali)

on March 1, 2012
Cover of: Celebrating Norouz by Yassaman Jalali
Celebrating Norouz: Persian New Year by Yassaman Jalali
Pictures by Marjan Zamanian
Age: Beginning Reader (K-2nd grade)
Genre: Non-fiction / Holidays
Saman Publishing, 2003
ISBN: 0972802002 / 26 pages
Find this book at your local library 

6-year-old Roshen introduces us to the Persian New Year celebration, also known as Norouz. Roshen explains when Norouz is held (first day of Spring) and the different elements that go into the celebrating (Haft Seen). The Haft Seen is made up of: are seven things that start with the letter S in Persian.

This is a delightful and informative book about the Persian New Year. This book is perfect for young children about to celebrate their first Norouz with their family, or with a friend’s family. Every other page is a colorful illustration of Rashen something involved with the planning, setting up and celebrating of Norouz. On the opposite page is the text. Although the text is written as the voice of a 6-year-old boy, it definitely has the tone and feel of a grown-up. It’s not story-in-rhyme type of book, just more matter of fact.

Every year on the first day of Spring, my family celebrates the Iranian (or Persian) New Year: Norouz. Norouz means “New Day” in Persian. Iranians have celebrated the beginning of Spring for thousands of years. I think having a New Year when the whole earth is waking up is great.

This is a good book to read when discussing international New Years that don’t fall on January 1st (like Chinese New Year). It also lends itself well to discussions about differences between how New Years is celebrated in America and how its celebrated in Iran. Jalali also includes three crafts/coloring pages/activity sheets related to the preparation of Norouz: Decorating the Haft Seen, Colorful Eggs, and a connect the dots game. All the materials are easy to find and are easy to do at home, after a storytime, or during a craft session in class.

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