Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review: A Pagan Book of ABC's by Shanddaramon

This book has a lot going for it. It can be used for many years, not just as an ABC primer, but for older kids who are learning alphabet correspondences as part of their pagan training. I was actually surprised at the detail in the book.

From the introduction: "This book can help children learn more than just the alphabet, however, because it introduces concepts related to modern Paganism. Many of the words used to identify letters of the alphabet are based on Pagan principles. The eight sabbats of the Wheel of the Year are included; as are the three celestial bodies (the sun, the moon, and the stars); the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water); the four directions or quarters (North, South, East, and West); the concept of the sacred circle; the pentagram; and the terms God and Goddess....Letters from different alphabets of interest to Pagans have been included." (Greek, Hebrew, Theban, Futhark Runic, and Ogham -ed.)

So the text page for A looks like this:
Each text page has an acompanying picture page opposite it.

Pretty neat, huh? I found this approach novel and unique, making the book of value despite some minor flaws. What flaws?
1. The illustrations leave a lot to be desired. Kids books like this should really focus on pictures as well as words and letters. These look like poorly photoshopped photographs. Illustrations would have been a nice attention catching thing for the kids.
2. The assumptions made: about "pagans" all believing in one goddess and one god, that we all celebrate the wheel of the year sabbats, and that we all use the same names for those sabbats. If you are gonna use an umbrella term like "pagan" you need to be less specifically wiccan.

That said, I will use this book with Rowan and change a few of the words to make it work for our family. It certainly has merit that I have not found elsewhere!

I like the activities in the back of the book, aimed at older children beyond those learning their ABC's. (Things like, "Spell your name in Greek or Theban".) It extends the life of this book.

Formal Rating:
Title: A Pagan Book of ABC's: A Children's Activity Book
Author: Shanddaramon
Publisher: Astor Press
Price: $24.95 USD 
ISBN: 978-0-557-09532-2

Topics Covered: ABC's, wiccan themes, pagan themes, children's book

Target Audience: Pagan (specifically wiccan) kids and their parents.
Witch Mom Rating: Two and a Half Hats
 A good asset for pagan families, particularly homeschoolers and those educating their children in a pagan religion.


  1. Thank you for posting! I had only ever seen the ABC Book of Shadows which is really hard to find. This looks like a lot of fun too!

  2. Hi! Great post, this is a book I thought about getting for my son. Glad you did a review on it.

    BTW, you have a blog award waiting for you at my blog

  3. ABC Book of Shadows was written by a friend of mine, Katie. It is a charming Wiccan board book (I have a copy) that I may review later. Here is a link to find copies of it on Amazon. I'll let Katie know she should reprint!

  4. I love Katie's book. It's been thru a few of my children and also neices and nephews! It is one of my favorite books to read to children.


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