CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 35 . . . . May 11, 2012
In a world of conflict, too often troubled by religious differences, a book that focuses on how religions share many valuable facets of faith is a treasure. This book is carefully and gently written to be kid friendly and to encourage openness, tolerance, and understanding. The authors have a rich understanding of the complexities of each faith, but keep to the broad strokes, making the content easy to understand, not distracted by too much detail. There are chapters on One Golden Rule, Spiritual leaders, Sacred texts, Clothing, Symbols, Places of worship, Common acts of worship, Actions during prayer, Charity, and Cherishing children.As well as breaking down barriers between the religions, the book dissolves ethnic barriers too. On the cover of the book, the young woman with her hands folded in prayer could be Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, or even Jewish. She could also be South Asian, Southeast Asian, Hispanic, or from one of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. Her clothing seems European or North American. In the photo, the similarities between the faiths and the nations erase boundaries. The theme of differences being unimportant is continued in other photos. One of my favourites is a candid photo of three Muslim girls in hijabs: three skin colours (brown, pink, and olive) and three demeanors (exuberant, content, and serious). The many photos, delightfully varied in their combination of races, ethnicities, and religions, help the reader let go of preconceptions and embrace the humanity in others.
Shelbey Krahn is a librarian in Sudbury, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.