Reviews – Magical Child
What the Press is saying about An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child
From If Journal #97
Reviewed by Brenda – 4 stars.
If you’re looking for some type of small gift for a certain little Pagan boy or girl, this book will do nicely. It presents a story of an ordinary little seven-year-old daughter, Rabbit, whose parents (a mom and a dad) are Pagan. Thus various Pagan concepts and experiences are seen and observed through Rabbit’s eyes. The author, Ms. W. Lyon Martin, also made the illustrations for her book. My nine-year-old daughter loved these drawings.
Ms. Martin writes “The purpose of this book is to remove some of the mystery surrounding an often misunderstood minority religious choice … It is meant as a basic text, to explain to the elementary-age child who Pagans are, what they do, and how and why they do it.”
In fact, this is a great read a Pagan parent can share with his/her child; whereas children a bit older can read it themselves. Right from the start, page two, the Pagan religion is presented as a group of people who honor nature and celebrate the four seasons. No Hollywood version of Pagan or witchcraft weirdness is found in this book.
Each of the topics in Rabbit’s story covers another page. Again, the information is short and to the point to hold a child’s attention span. It begins with a child version of a Paganing Ceremony, although I’ve heard this also called a Wiccaning. The idea of a God and Goddess is also established. As in the thought, each of us may give ours a different name, depending upon one’s particular pantheon or which season Rabbit is in at the moment.
What is Magic? Special prayers that use thoughts and their energy. “Energy changes when Pagans make magic. Then new things happen.”
What are Circles? How to prepare, participate in and close a circle are easily explained.
The Wheel of the Year. Lots of fun for our little Rabbit here as each Sabbat is introduced and explained in a few paragraphs. As the seasons seamlessly flow into each other, so do the Sabbats come and go, too, beginning with winter’s Imbolc to continue with spring equinox’s Ostara. Beltaine’s next with its maypole. Then summer solstice or Litha, Lughnasadh, then a fall equinox or Mabon. A fun Samhain continues the wheel, ending with a winter solstice or Yule.
Even the four moon phases are touched on. Sprinkled in this section is also Rabbit’s encounter with fellow students’ taunting and how to handle such in a positive manner.
A few basic rituals are talked about, such as a home blessing, a Full Moon, and banishing bad dreams. As with many children’s books I have read with my two daughters, where the story ends with the character going to bed to have peaceful dreams, this book ends on the same happy note. In conclusion, this is a great book to read at a child’s bedtime
From the Blessed Be; Issue No.29
This is the book Pagan parents have been waiting for! An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child offers a comprehensive, easy-to-understand glimpse into Pagan family life. The book explains the meaning of Paganism, Gods/Goddesses, the Wheel of the Year, the full moon and simple banishing. The story is written in children’s language, but with a grace not typically found in a children’s book.
The story of Rabbit is one that Pagan families will delight in and one that may be used to introduce non-Pagans to our way of life. Non-denominational, this book will fit any Pagan belief system since the core beliefs are essentially the same and are based around the Wheel of the Year and God/Goddess love.
Although the recommended age level for this is 6-10 years, the way it is written can easily be understood by a younger child and appreciated by an older one.
The illustrations are rich, vibrant and well done. Lyon’s use of watercolor is extraordinary and unique, making this book even more of a treasure than the text alone could.
I highly recommend this to any Pagan family. It truly is a book that shouldn’t be missed.
Reviewed by Kristin Gauli
From the Covenant of the Vital Breath by Tabitha Vitale
“I cannot say enough good things about this book.
It is truly a beautiful book. The illustrations are simply gorgeous, but it is the text that wins me over. Not just me, but my children as well. And all the children to whom I have thus far read it.
It is a very simple book, teaching gently about the ways of Pagans. It does not preach, nor does it get into specific rituals or rules. It is a guide to help children understand and learn about Pagan ways.
Anyone looking for a sound introduction for young readers to neo-pagan beliefs would do well to pick up W. Lyon Martin’s An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child. Basic beliefs, holidays and their expression in everyday life are all highlighted in a readable format that informs without overwhelming the reader. An informative read for anyone wishing to acquaint themselves with the basics of the pagan belief system.
Sue Bradford Edwards, freelance children’s book reviewer for the St Louis Post Dispatch
Wonderful Pagan Book for Children. This book is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!! The artwork alone is incredible.
Lyon has covered everything possible in teaching children about being magical. I can’t imagine any Pagan family that will not want a copy of this book. This is a beautifully illustrated book with a simplified explanation of paganism. We need more books like this one!
Pamela Yarborough, Acorns Journal of Pagan Home Schooling
A Magical Child offers an excellent child’s eye into the lives of Pagan families. A Magical Child allows Pagan children to find comfort and commonality in their lives with others in an ever increasingly diverse world, while allowing non-pagan children insight into the magical world that is the world of Pagan children.
A Magical Child strives to bridge the gap between the Pagan and non-Pagan world. This offers a great opportunity for Pagan parents to discuss their personal tradition in the light of A Magical Child to further a deeper understanding of their own belief structure in the larger, varied realm of Paganism.
Christina Aubin, Parenting Coordinator, The Witch’s Voice
I get a lot of book catalogues in the mail, and one of the categories I always search is CHILDREN’S BOOKS. I’ve found quite a few I consider suitable for Pagan children — plenty of retold folk-tales and fantasies — but almost none about Pagan children. Till now, that is — and I can hardly wait for An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child to be available. I’ll be thrilled to add it to my collection and to get a spare copy for the Tucson Area Wiccan-Pagan Network’s Moon School library.
Lush watercolors illustrate this book — Lyon has a wonderful way with colors, and with light and shadow. The text combines story and information in a way I think is unique, at least among the children’s books I’ve seen. Episodes of young Rabbit’s life are shared both narratively and in conventional story form, and yes, these segments of the book do help to explain various aspects of Wicca. But in addition, there are other segments that offer information almost as a Sun Day School or Moon School teacher might! Huzzah!
As an advocate Wiccans raising our children to Wicca, I’m delighted to see this book coming out. Parents who are teaching their children around the kitchen table and teachers who are participating in more formal lessons for their community’s Pagan children will find this book enormously helpful. It can be read as a story, most definitely, and as such will captivate listeners, who’ll want to hear it and look at the illustrations again and again. But…and this is just great, really…we can also read portions of it as lessons about Sabbats, and as parables, when more formal teaching is appropriate.
The title says it all, I think: it’s about time for somebody to say straightforwardly that neo-Pagan children are “ordinary” and “magical” at the same time. And because this book is based on real lives, Pagan families — and heck, even open-minded non-Pagan families! –all over the country will be able to relate to Rabbit and Mommy. (I think it’s important, too, to realize that even though it’s written from Lyon’s Wiccan perspective, its format is one that can inspire families of other neo-Pagan faiths to share their similar experiences.)
Rabbit’s experiences as An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child (and Mommy’s example of sympathetic, creative common sense) will not only entertain, but will make it easier for other ordinary boys and girls to grow up as magical children. Thanks, Lyon — and thanks to you, too, Rabbit! — for this gift to us all.
(author of The Family Wicca Book; Raising Witches; In the Service of Life; and the two volumes of Celebrating the Seasons of Life)
A Magical Child is a magical book! An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child is the best neo-Pagan children’s book I have seen to date. Period. It delineates the rituals of the most widely celebrated neo-Pagan sabbats in easy to understand language and breaks down the practices of a typical modern day Pagan family with delightful simplicity. Martin’s water colours capture Rabbit’s world in breathtaking detail that is certain to engage the imagination of any child. Does it cover every tradition and every ritual and every pantheon? Of course not. It doesn’t need to nor does it pretend to. An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child covers the Wheel of the Year from a child’s perspective as celebrated by Rabbit and her extended family. While it is non-threatening it opens the door to dialogue both within the Pagan community as well as the greater community beyond…and that can only be a good thing.
Trish Reynolds (author of The Doctor and the Witch trilogy , and The Seeker’s Quest trilogy)
What parents are saying:
I was hoping I’d be able to buy your book today at PPD — and thanks to my friend Tracey, I did. Wow — holding a copy of your book in my hands and reading through it–it is so much more impressive than I thought it would be after looking it up on your website and on amazon. I have only read a little bit of it to my 4yo daughter (Evangeline) — but she adores it so far. And I myself have gotten many ideas from it — and I haven’t even read it all the way through yet. But I’ll have that done by tonight — after the kids are in bed. Thank you so much for writing this book — and for signing it as well — my daughter thinks it is so cool that you wrote her name in it for her. That made it even more special for her.
Excellent parenting tool
This book is very descriptive as well as informative. Well written, easy for younger children to understand. The illustrations are superbly done and add to the overall well put together design of the book. A must for all people with young children in their lives who are interested in other religions or want to teach them about what they believe and follow.
Wolf SilverOak (Virginia)
A Must for the Pagan Parent
Written and illustrated with a mother’s love, this lovely little book is a must for the increasing number of Pagans raising children. Its simple, clear wording is great for reading aloud to little ones, and explains Pagan values and practices in a way that should be appropriate for almost anyone practicing an earth-based religion. I’ve already read it successfully to my 4-year-old daughter, whose attention span is usually measured in mere seconds. If you’re a Pagan parent, you need this book.
A. Howell (Weatherford, OK)
Lyon, my beautiful book came yesterday!
After a week of dealing with strep (kids and myself), stolen purse (canceling cell phone, credit card, and bank account, etc) and the fury at the Katrina storm response — well, it was a delightful thing to open the box and step away to somewhere peaceful! Thank you!
Bennie H. (Oklahoma)
Ellie Reads Your Book!
“Mom, are you sure she didn’t write this about us?”
“When Rabbit gets teased at school, that’s EXACTLY like what happened to me.”
“I really like the way Lyon draws hair. These pictures are terrific.”
Ellie had a hard day this week, so when your book arrived in the mail, I went ahead and gave it to her. As you already knew, it makes a big difference in a pagan child’s life to hear her own experiences in print. She positively glowed when she finished reading some of the sections aloud to me. What a gift your work is. Thank you for priestessing this book into being.
Ellie asks me to tell you “that most of those things have happened to me. It helps to have the book and know that Rabbit and other pagan kids deal with it too.”
Hello from JeffCo!
I was just listening to your interview on the Wicked Podcast and when you said Missouri, it caught my ear. As an adult (barely, I’m 22) who was raised Wiccan in Jefferson County (Imperial), MO. I think this book of yours is frankly, pretty awesome. So I just wanted to write and tell you that it’s a wonderful idea and thank you for writing this book. That’s all.