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Reviewed by Rylanne Burdette for Readers' Favorite
Serene and the Spirits by Arielle Strauss Brueland is a children’s picture book about cultural traditions and celebrations. Serene goes to Japan with her mom to visit her family for the Obon Festival, a festival that honors grandparents, great-grandparents, and other family members who have passed away. Serene learns about the spirits of some of her family members who died and shares a meal during which she can see their presence with the rest of her family. Serene spends time with her cousins, and they go to the festival together, during which there is music, dancing, and so much delicious food! Serene and the Spirits is a must-read book for children who love to learn.
This children’s book was absolutely stunning and such a fun learning experience. I love diving into different cultures and learning new things, so I enjoyed traveling to Japan with Serene for her family celebration. The illustrations were truly wonderful; the different expressions that Serene made in reaction to things, the colors, and the settings were just so well done! Serene and the Spirits was an easy read while also providing a bit of a challenge for new readers. I loved everything about it and would definitely reread it someday. I would recommend Serene and the Spirits by Arielle Strauss Brueland to all young children who love to read and want to learn about a culture that might be different from theirs! I truly had a fun time with this book and think others will too.