Reviews – Feast of Mabon
Smoky and the Feast of Mabon is a story about a little girl’s discovery of the Wiccan autumnal equinox Feast of Mabon, a special harvest feast celebrated between the old year and the new. Smoky is upset because it is the fall of the year and all her favorite flowers are dying. She goes deep into the woods where she has always felt safe, and discovers a special feast of pumpkin pie, apples, corn, bread, cookies, cupcakes, and (vegetable) soup. At this magical feast are many animal guests and a beautiful lady who rocks a cradle with a baby in it. The lady is Equinox and the baby is the New Year, sound asleep. Soon Smoky sees a large old figure in white whom she is told is the Old Year. Vixen the fox tells Smoky they call the day the baby wakes up Samhain, and the first day of Autumn is called Mabon. Smoky feasts and dances and parties with her special animal friends and the stars, and when she is tired she returns home to her mother, who is still clearing the garden of dead flowers. “Smoky and the Feast of Mabon” is a lovely book that teaches children to appreciate the gifts of each season, but particularly fall, and not to mourn the passing of beautiful flowers or plants because they give many good gifts in their endings, and in their endings is another beginning. “Smoky and the Feast of Mabon” is enhanced by spectacular illustrations which bring the magical child story new dimensions. “Smoky and the Feast of Mabon” is written particularly for children ages 5-9.
–Midwest Book Review: Children’s Bookwatch, June 2010
This story teaches us to remember that all endings open the door for new beginnings. Catherynne M. Valente’s words, coupled with the perfectly compatible artwork of W. Lyon Martin, make for an entertaining experience your magickal child will enjoy over and over again.
–Raine Hill, author of Growing Up Pagan: A Workbook for Wiccan Families
Smoky and the Feast of Mabon is a charming story. Authentic traditions and lore of the season are presented by the Goddess and Her creatures in an accessible manner for young children. The artwork is gorgeous. Lyon’s richly-colored watercolor illustrations beautifully complement and enhance the story. This book is a true work of art.
–Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, author of Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard
In Catherynne M Valente’s latest offering Smoky — a girl named for that delicious scent of wood burning that heralds the coming of Autumn and Winter — meets Lady Equinox. The resulting story is a gentle explanation of the cycle of the seasons, deity, and the pagan view of death and rebirth. The luscious illustrations, with W. Lyon Martin’s trademark unexpected twists such as a rainbow-bearded but serious stag at the Autumnal feast, will delight and draw the reader in — and the story will have them returning again and again.
–Natalie Zaman, editor of Broomstix children’s e-zine