Judy Kirton, illustrated by
Beliefs and Religions Around the World
Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing, 2011.
Six religions of the world are represented in a simple factual way that may offer teachers and family members a tool to introduce the variety of beliefs held around the world or in one’s neighbourhood. The beliefs and religions are presented in the order of world wide membership based on data from www.adherents.com that appears to be dated 2007. The fact that the third largest group consists of non-practicing individuals is handled coyly, stating that this group believes "in being kind and respectful to others". The list presented here is not identical to that of the website as Sikhism, Chinese Traditional religions, such as Confucianism, and African tribal religions all have greater numbers than Judaism, which is included. I appreciate that this is a book for younger students and attempts to simplify the information, but young Sikhs readers may have parents who wonder about their exclusion.
The format for the text is standard and allows easy comparison of buildings, holy books and festivals linked to each religion. I have some concern about the statements that Christians live "all over the world" while Muslims live in North Africa, the Middle east and Malaysia, "countries where most of the people are Muslim". This is true but Muslims live all over the world as well.
For families, daycares, churches and schools who need a book for young children explaining the similarities in addition to the particularities of some of the world’s beliefs this is a useful book.
Thematic Links: World Religions; Religious Beliefs
Vol. 17, number 1
E - Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!
G - Good, even great at times, generally useful!
A - Average, all right, has its applications.
P - Problematic, puzzling, poorly presented.