Faith in ourselves;Reviews;Books

22nd October 1999 at 01:00
RAINBOWS SERIES. My Christian Faith. By Alison Seaman and Alan Brown

My Muslim Faith. By Khadijah Knight

My Hindu Faith. By Anita Ganeri

My Jewish Faith. By Anne Clark

My Buddhist Faith. By Adiccabandhu

My Sikh Faith. By Kanwaljit Kaur-Singh.

Evans Brothers. pound;3.99 each.

Tolerance and respect are the key notes of the Rainbows series, writes Tom Deveson

With religious murder returning to Europe, it's excellent to have new books for young children that reaffirm the shared values of some of the world's main creeds.

Each little book introduces us to a child's family and their faith through a set of photographs and a succession of simple questions and answers. This uncomplicated formula ensures that at least the initial historical, liturgical, eschatological and ethical concepts can be conveyed to beginning readers. There are also two pages of substantial information for the enlightenment of adults.

The significance of tolerance and respect for people and the living world is made clear. Naturally the accent is on easily-understood symbols such as lights and sweets and on shared events like weddings and naming ceremonies. Many other similarities are unemphatically displayed. We see a priest, a rabbi and a pujari, although no imam; a Bible, a Qur'an and a Torah but no Bhagavadgita.

Lack of agreed forms of transcription from Arabic could mean that some readers (including adults) might not recognise Mecca as Makkah or wonder why the text says id while the word in the picture is Eid. But any means of supporting religious understanding is welcome in these bloody times.

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