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Especially for Children Understanding through Books

Three Reviews by Patricia Colleran

The Ancient Celtic Festivals and How We Celebrate Them Today
by Clare Walker Leslie and Frank E. Gerace

Inner Traditions
Rochester, Vermont © 2000

Who were the ancient Celts? And how is it that their traditions so influence our culture today?

Travel back in time to learn how many of our holiday traditions originated in the seasonal and cosmic celebrations of the early residents of northern Europe. From Halloween to Easter, Groundhog Day to May Day, see how the rhythms of nature–the rising and setting of the moon, sun, stars and planets–came to influence the way we organize our years and count the day of our lives.

Designed especially for young readers ages 8 – 12, this valuable resource for parents and teachers gives us hands-on activities, natural science information and seasonal celebrations to help us reconnect with the natural cycle of the year.

Walking the World in Wonder: A Children’s Herbal
by Ellen Evert Hopman

Healing Arts Press
Rochester, Vermont © 2000

There was a time when children would have learned of the many uses of plants–as food, as decoration, as dye, and most important, as medicine–from their elders. This book helps to bring back some of the ancient knowledge of our ancestors by giving us a resource for identifying and using the many herbs and edible fruits that grow in our backyards and nearby fields.

With beautiful color photographs and engaging descriptions, we can now teach our children the wonderful uses of the plants we see all through the seasons: the chives, dandelion and ferns of spring; the basil, bee balm and wild carrot of summer; the fennel, juniper and oak of autumn; and the bayberry, holly and pine of winter. These and more find their way from this book through our backyards and into our households as we walk the world in wonder before the many riches nature provides.

Animals in the Stars:
Chinese Astrology for Children
Written and illustrated by Gregory Crawford

Bear Cub Books
Rochester, Vermont © 2002

When Chinese New Year comes around each year, have you ever wondered why it is the Year of the Sheep, the Year of the Dragon, or the Year of the Horse? What do these different animals symbolize and how does this affect our understanding and experience of life?

In this beautifully illustrated book, children and adults alike can get a feel for Chinese culture, find out under what sign they were born, and learn to identify some of the characteristics that go with their year of birth.