A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND KIRKUS BEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOK OF 2023
"This book is, in a word, immaculate." Kirkus (Starred Review)
A beautifully illustrated, interactive guide to ancient, nature-based holidays and customs. Through themed meditations, crafts, and rituals, young readers can learn about old and new ways of honoring the seasons—and create their own!
Each “spoke” in The Wheel of the Year marks an important turning point: the winter and summer solstices, the spring and fall equinoxes, and the festivals of seeding, growing, and harvesting that arrive in between. Within each section, enjoy:
An overview of the holiday and its significance in cultures around the world
A sensory scavenger hunt for sights, sounds, and smells the season
Ideas for a seasonal altar using objects from nature
Themed crafts, rituals, games, and recipes
Blending nature connection with art, poetry, and myth, The Wheel of the Year conveys the magic and beauty of ancient traditions and encourages young readers to notice, care for, and celebrate the natural world around them.
About the Author
Jessica Roux is a Nashville-based freelance illustrator and plant and animal enthusiast. She loves exploring in her own backyard and being surrounded by an abundance of nature. Using subdued colors and rhythmic shapes, she renders flora, fauna, food, and many other things with intricate detail reminiscent of old-world beauty.
KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW A thorough, accessible, yearlong walk through the seasons.
Speaking to her readers in a wise whisper, Cook proclaims that there’s real magic in this world—it’s all around us, and kids have a special knack for seeing it. She sets out to help readers “find and recognize magic,” starting with Ostara, the spring equinox, and rolling through the wheel of the year to Imbolc, a cross-quarter fire festival halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The book carefully and meaningfully lays out the rhythms of the wheel[.] It provides suggestions for individual nature-based spiritual practices and activities, including crafts and scavenger hunts that involve multiple senses. The book includes recipes using herbs, berries, and fungi (along with safety information for the kitchen and foraging) and guidance for refreshing your altar to welcome the energy of the incoming season. It also references non-Western cultural practices and explains cultural appropriation, giving readers context about the sacred Native American practice of smudging, and it suggests gathering herbs other than sage to bundle and burn. Cook’s obvious wealth of knowledge and care in explaining both the light and dark of the world around us is complemented perfectly by Roux’s charming, delicate illustrations of natural objects, critters both cute and crawly, and racially diverse young people. This book is, in a word, immaculate. A graceful invitation that children will happily accept. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))