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Premlata and the Festival of Lights Hardcover – April, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"This well-turned tale [of a poor Indian girl who rescues the family's celebration of Diwali] is almost a primer on how to convey the exotic in seemingly effortless fashion," said PW. Ages 7-9.-- is almost a primer on how to convey the exotic in seemingly effortless fashion," said PW. Ages 7-9.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6. A tender but slight book that highlights a festival that may not be familiar to most American children. Set in contemporary Bengal, India, this is the story of seven-year-old Premlata and her impoverished family as they attempt to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights in honor of the goddess Kali. There is no money to buy lamps to light up the house for the goddess, so Prem devises a way to attend the mela, or fair, alone and buy the special oil lamps. However, the sights and sounds of the fair are too tempting and she spends her precious coins on treats and presents instead. Frightened and exhausted, she is found and taken home by Bijoy Rai, the honored village landlord. When he coaxes the whole story from Prem, his benevolence saves the day. Premlata is young and amazed at her own daring, but her personality is never fully realized. She is more of a guide to the life and traditions of India than a real-life participant. Readers will certainly learn about her country through this story; it's unlikely that they will come to love it as Godden does. Andrew's precise black-and-white drawings help to personalize the action and clarify many details. An additional purchase for collections with specific multicultural needs.?Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First U.S. Edition edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688151361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688151362
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,352,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a lovely story of a small girl's strength and weaknesses and her ability to overcome those weaknesses in order to care for those she loves. As always, Ms. Godden's storytelling and descriptive language are magical. Premlata's poverty is difficult and uncomfortable for privileged Western children, but an important part of the book's power. Premlata will be an annual read for my daughter and me during the holidays--it is a great companion to the Christmas story!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
The story is about a young Indian girl who through the boldness of her heart undertakes a brave adventure on behalf of her struggling family. She encounters her own weaknesses and strengths, as well as those of others around her. Her character is delicately developed and you will simply fall in love with Premlata. The customs and cultural environment of her world are beautifully described for child and adult. It is a fanciful small story which appealed greatly to both my 9 year old daughter and me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angie on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book years ago, well before my daughter was born. I loved it in my pre-mommy days, as a person who had traveled in, and loved India. And now, with a daughter who's nearly the same age as Premlata, who was born in a village in India, it takes special significance.

On the surface, this is an adorable story of a little girl living in a village in India. She tough and goes after what she wants and improves the lives of everyone around her in the process. In that, it's a great girl-power book.

And then it's also a lovely, gentle introduction to India. Life in India can be hard for many people. And this book gently introduces that fact. But despite being difficult, life is also full of joy and hard work and respect. And this book treats the characters with a great deal of respect. Premlata and her family are the kind of people that I want to know. And they're the kind of people that I *have* met in India.

We'll read this one again and again...
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