The Earth Child’s Handbook: Book 1, by Brigid Ashwood
Quite a number of years ago, I ran a company (possibly the first) that produced Pagan themed greeting cards. Because of that, I met many talented artists. One of them was Brigid Ashwood. As our product lines expanded beyond just greeting cards, I worked with Brigid on a number of licensed products. I loved her work then, and she talked about this book she was working on.
Then life happened. For both of us, I suspect.
Last year I heard that her book was now two books, and was finally being published. I purchased both, eager to see what she’d been working on. Because the descriptions I’d heard sounded right up our alley.
First, let me say that though the printed copies are a bit on the pricey side, they’re worth it – each book is over 200 pages, and chock full of information and activities. They’re also available from Brigid’s website as ebooks (and that may be the way to go, honestly, given the ability to print out the activities rather than pulling them out of the book).
Book 1 covers the family, Mother Earth, elements, the heavens, the stars, the God & Goddess, deities, divination, magick & ritual, and the altar, along with numerous sub topics.
There are lessons on each topic, and crafts and other activities to go with each. The pages that you will cut out and work on are thoughtfully left blank on the other side, so the information in the book isn’t ruined (though this may be another time that I wish I had a book binding machine so that I could un-bind the book and pull out all these activity pages).
The artwork is fabulous (and I recognize some pieces from when we worked with Brigid). There is an entire altar set to make out of paper, mobiles for the elements, and suncatchers to make. The elemental mobiles are really nifty – I think being able to hang them in the appropriate direction in a child’s room would be a great learning experience. There are recipes
Brigid gives a nice list of craft supplies to keep on hand for general use. I’d suggest reading through this book while gathering supplies – there are a number of activities that require several bottles of glue that you add coloring to, so you’ll want to have more than just one bottle of glue on hand – we normally only keep glue sticks in our art supplies, so I’m betting that like us, you’ll have to plan ahead for that.
Most of the activities will work well for younger children with a little adjustment for their skill level, all the way up through older elementary level and beyond. The book is somewhat designed for families to work through together, which is nice – you can fill in details as needed as you go and discuss the things kids are learning.
I’ll be publishing my review of Book 2 in 2 weeks, and next week, I’ll be posting a giveaway for the pair of books that Brigid has kindly given a set form, so stay tuned!
Disclaimer: I purchased our review copies. Brigid Ashwood will be providing one copy of The Earth Child’s Handbook: Book 1, and one copy of The Earth Child’s Handbook: Book 2 for the giveaway that starts next week. All opinions are my own.