BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature

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Book Review: What Is an Altar?


Title: What Is an Altar? (Pagan Children Learning Series Book Four)

Publisher: Immanion Press/Megalithica Press

Author: Rowan Moss

Illustrator: T.S. Lamb

Pages: 38 pp

Price: $10.99 US (paperback)

Fun and informative books specifically aimed at Pagan and polytheist children are hard to find. The only other such series that I can think of are the Rupert's Tales books by Kyrja and Tonia Bennington Osborn. Happily, What Is an Altar? from the Pagan Children Learning series can be added to that list.

At only thirty-eight pages, it is a short read, but just the right length for a child. The question "what is an altar?" is posed and then clearly and simply answered in short sentences. Key words are highlighted in green, and each page of text is accompanied by a full-page illustration. The illustrations are bright and delightful; I particularly love the plush Sobek. Though leaning towards Wicca, the illustrations do highlight different traditions (there are images of a Hindu altar, a Christian one, et cetera). Though not explicitly stated as such, they look like watercolor and colored pencil to me. The book concludes with a guide to creating an altar, and a glossary defining the highlighted words.

I have only minor complaints, and those center around a few awkward sentences and some spelling errors. For example, "And some people setup a permanent altar set up in their home." is technically correct but sounds strange. Additionally, deity is misspelled as "Diety" in the glossary. 

What Is an Altar? is the fourth book in the series. Be sure to look for the three previous books: What Is Magic?; Who Is a Witch?: and What Are the Elements? Additionally, readers are invited to email suggestions for future books to author Rowan Moss (personally, I would love to see books highlighting individual pantheons, such as the Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Celtic, et cetera, or maybe traditions, such as Hellenismos, Heathenry, and so on).

Recommended to Pagan parents, educators, and librarians -- and kids! -- everywhere.

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Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina. She thinks it is incredibly unfair that she must work for a living rather than being able to read all day. In her next life, she would like to be a library cat.


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