Happy Diwali!

The Festival of Lights

“This Diwali let us give thanks for all we hold dear: Our health, our family, our friends and to the grace of God which never ends.” – anonymous


Diwali is the most important festival in India. It marks the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains around the world.  People clean their homes and buy new clothes in preparation for this celebration. And then for five days, they enjoy getting together with their friends and relatives, eating special foods, and setting off fireworks that light up the dark skies.  

Celebrate Diwali

The most important day of the festival is on the darkest night between the middle of October and the middle of November. It is the night of the new moon, the night when we cannot see any light reflected from the moon. This year, Diwali is on October 30th. 


“May this Diwali bring you the utmost in peace and prosperity. May lights triumph over darkness. May peace transcend the earth. May the spirit of light illuminate the world. May the light that we celebrate at Diwali show us the way and lead us together on the path of peace and social harmony. Wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali.” – anonymous 


“Diwali – A festival full of sweet memories, sky full of fireworks, mouth full of sweets, house full of diyas and heart full of enjoyment.” – anonymous


Das, Prodeepta. I is for India. London: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016. A colourful 32-page alphabet book full of detailed information for elementary and middle school readers.

Dickmann, Nancy. Diwali. Chicago, Ill.: Heinemann Library, 2011. An easy to read 24-page book –  with large photographs, glossary, and index for students learning to do research – recommended for children up to eight years of age.

Heiligman, Deborah. Celebrate Diwali. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2006. A 32-page book – with recipes, card game, map, glossary, bibliography, and internet links –  for readers 11-years-old and up.

Parker-Rock. Michelle. Diwali: the Hindu Festival of Lights, Feasts, and Family. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow, 2004. A 48-page book – with glossary, index, bibliography, and internet links – for readers 10 to 14 years of age.

Pettiford, Rebecca. Diwali. Minneapolis, Minn.: Bullfrog Books, 2015. A colourful easy to read 24-page book –  with large photographs and index –  for children up to eight years of age.

Ponto, Joanna and Michelle Parker-Rock. Diwali. New York: Enslow Publishing, 2017. An informative easy-to-read 32-page book – with recipes and crafts, glossary and index – for readers 9 years old and up. Part of a series: The Story of Our Holidays.

Singh, Rina. Diwali: Festival of Lights. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers, 2016. An informative and engaging 93-page book – with coloured photographs, a glossary, and index – highly recommended for readers and researchers 11-years-old and up. Part of a new series: Orca Origins.

Torpie, Kate. Diwali. New York: Crabtree Pub., 2009. A colourful large print 32-page book – with glossary and index – recommended for elementary and middle school students. Part of the ‘Celebrations in My World’ series.

Click HERE for stories set in India.

I is for India

October is Library Month!

“A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.” Lemony Snicket

Library Month

“Reading is important.
Books are important.
Librarians are important. (Also, libraries are not child-care facilities, but sometimes feral children raise themselves among the stacks.)” – Neil Gaiman

Learn how libraries are organized

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”  – Mark Twain

Read stories about books and libraries

“Ben wished the world was organized by the Dewey decimal system. That way you’d be able to find whatever you were looking for.”  – Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck

Learn about the famous Dewey decimal system

Play some Dewey decimal games online

The Library Book

People have been keeping written records of ideas and information for thousands of years.  Archeologists have discovered a collection of 30,000 clay tablets at an ancient site in modern Iraq. Historians know that the famous Alexandria Library in ancient Egypt had over 400,000 scrolls and that by 400 C.E., there were already 28 public libraries in the city of Rome! But it wasn’t until the 1800s that free public libraries became popular.

Read more fun facts about libraries

“The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don’t, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.” – Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures

Discover the secrets of people who love reading

“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” – Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer

Library Month


“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
– L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Enormous Smallness

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)…

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e.e. cummings, American poet (1894-1962)

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor who gave his life fighting Nazism during World War 2

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus, ancient Greek philosopher 

Click HERE for Thanksgiving books for young readers. 

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart, medieval German theologian


Burgess, Matthew. Enormous Smallness: a Story of e.e. cummings. New York: Enchanted Lion Books, 2015.

Carlstrom, Nancy White. Glory. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2001.