One of the most pleasant memories of my childhood was being read to, or reading books myself. My bibliophilia has followed me into my adult life. But parents of a polytheist persuasion have a hard time finding book resources for our children reflecting some of our own values.
On a lark I recently picked up the children’s book, Tomie DePaola’s The Legend of the Bluebonnet as a souvenir on a recent wildflower viewing trip in Texas.
The book focuses on a Comanche girl, but the story contains themes that polytheists can appreciate:
- the relationship between humanity and the numinous
- the balance of man and nature
- the meaning of sacrifice and offerings
- the meaning of being part of a community
- brief mention of ancestors
It’s a beautiful story in its simplicity, where the orphaned girl offers the only possession she has left, a doll with a blue jay feather, to save her people during a drought. The sacrifice ends the drought, and is so pleasing to the Powers that now bluebonnets bloom every year.
For those in Texas it is especially perfect to share with our children, as March and April brings bluebonnets to Texas roadsides and fields.
I also picked up the Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, by the same author/artist, which also has themes sympathetic to a polytheistic upbringing, from listening to the Powers while pursuing your own dreams and talents.
Paintbrushes are a type of prairie wildflowers found in many places from Wyoming to Texas. They also grow along Texas roadways, and in fields.