There aren’t a lot of picture/story books for the very young children of Pagans and witches but we still manage to read to our kiddos anyway.
Here are a few of my favorites, and my Sunshine’s favorites. They are in no particular order and I will continue adding to this list as I discover or remember more.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is a cute, rhyming story about a witch and her cat taking a broom trip and picking up friends along the way. It’s a good message about kindness and loyalty and the illustrations are adorable.
Red Sings from Treetops is a beautifully illustrated, magical and musical book about the seasons and the colors. My son loves it and so do I.
Clare Beaton’s Bedtime Rhymes
This is simply a bedtime or nighttime-themed collection of traditional nursery rhymes, most of which are entirely suitable for Pagan children. I especially like “Evening is Coming”, which talks about birds/crows. The illustrations are stitched and quilted and amazing. I personally find them very comforting and cozy, perfect for bedtime.
Clare Beaton has done a number of nursery rhyme books, including Garden Rhymes and Animal Rhymes. Also worth checking out.
Little Green by Keith Baker was my son’s favorite book for the first three years of his life. It was a gift from my sister the genius. It portrays a little boy painting the patterns made by a hummingbird. The illustrations are beautiful with lots of different colors to identify and repeating objects to count and a tiny little worm that hides on each page. Just thinking of this book and how much my son loves it makes me smile. Even before he could talk this book fascinated him.
There are not a lot of words in this book, but the pictures tell a very clear story. This was another gift from my sister, but my son wasn’t overly interested in it until he was about a year old and then he became obsessed with it. He loves to discuss the pictures, what the gorilla is doing, to identify all the zoo animals, and to giggle over the silliness. Gorilla was one of my son’s first words, thanks to this book.
Love You Sun, I Love You Moon by Karen Pandell is a little heart-shaped book illustrated by Tomie dePaola (love him!). It is very simple. Just little children going around telling things they love them. The moon, the sun, sheep, flowers, stars, etc. All kinds of animals and natural things and the Earth. Very sweet.
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
Is one of the lesser known Eric Carle books; this one talks about how the moon changes shape. It gets smaller and then larger again. My husband doesn’t like this book so much because it has the father going to great lengths to get his daughter the moon, which he states is an unreasonable request that granting will only turn her into a spoiled brat and this isn’t the type of thing we should be modeling. Maybe he has a point, but it’s still a cute story.
I Took the Moon for a Walk
This is a cute little story about a late night stroll with the moon for company. It’s very simple, and the rhymes are charming and it introduces the idea of nocturnal animals.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is a classic. It’s been popular since before I was born and with good reason. The pictures are simple and bright and bold and so engaging for very young eyes. The text is lyrical and it even has funny bits. My son likes to point out things in the pictures but mostly I feel like it’s just the best bedtime story. It even makes me feel sleepy.
The Runaway Bunny is another masterpiece by Margaret Wise Brown. Something about this book reminds me of the story of Taliesin. What could it be? Oh yea, all that shape-shifting. Anyway, love it. It’s a sweet book with pictures that my son finds fascinating. (You have to find the bunny! But he’s not a bunny! He’s a bunny-flower, or a bunny-boat or a bunny-something else.) Lots of fun.
Skip Through the Seasons is just a fun little book that explores the seasons month by month with simple rhymes and illustrations. Each page has lots of seasonal items to find in the picture and a bunch of associated words. I am not sure why, but my son loves word books. This is kind of a cross between a book of words and a book of verse and a seek and find book. Pretty nifty.
Hand Hand Fingers Thumb Although there’s really nothing Pagan or magical in this book(except maybe the drumming)… and the “monkeys” pictured are in fact apes, I love the energy of this book. It’s got rhythm that builds up and sort of crescendos near the end and then whispers out. I LOVE reading this book out loud and the kids find it fascinating. It’s a good start for future drum circlers.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is my husband’s favorite book to read to my son because Big Nutbrown Hare, the adult protagonist, is male. He complains that there is a gender bias in children’s story books and perhaps it is true, but THIS book is about a daddy hare tucking a baby hare in at night and they are teasing each other about who loves each other the most. Very cute.
And if you’re looking for something specifically Wicca-focused, try ABC Book of Shadows by Katie Lyndon Olivares and illustrated by April Choi is very nice.