Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Herb Faries

Started Herb Fairy Stellaria this morning. This is a brilliant series by Kimberly Gallaghar. She created 13 "herb fairies" for four children to meet (two of them are her own kids). Each fairy has the physical, racial characteristics of the region that plant originated in, and a personality to match that herb.

For example, Stellaria is a bit shy and unsure of herself. Her herb is chickweed which grows kind of to the sides and hidden. Viola (violet) is very gentle. Dandy is the dandelion fairy and is bold and out going, just like the herb.

Each fairies' name is a form of the Latin name for the plant. Their clothes resemble the leaves and/or flowers of the plant, and their book was published in the best month to harvest that plant (one fairy for each of the 12 months, plus 1 to wrap them all up.)

Just sorting the books in the boxed set my nine year old began to be able to identify the plants since each cover is decorated with the leaves of each plant. She could tell me the name of the herb without seeing the title after just a half an hour or so.

And each books contains several recipes using each herb.

The over all story is that the Old Man of the Forest has locked away all the herb magic and the fairies need the children's help to unlock it. In each book they encounter a very ill magical creature (i.e. troll, dwarf, brownie) who they help cure with the book's medicinal herb. When the creature is well, they are able to unlock part of the magic.

I do object to a tiny bit in the series (we've read it before, a couple years ago). The oldest child in the books makes a point of telling his friends that they need to thank the plant for its healing power.

"They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen." Romans 1:25. 

I actively teach my children to thank God for the healing chemicals He put into the plants He created.  
So, there is a clear religious difference. But it does just happen once or twice in the series and I know my kids will run across this idea if they read a lot of herbals out there when they are adults. I can't protect them forever. 

Instead of pretending there are no other ways of looking at things and hoping they don't get caught up in wrong ideas as adults, I read the offending point of view, then pause and briefly (cheerfully in this case) explain why I believe differently, then go on with the book. I am intentionally exposing them to heretical ideas in a controlled environment so I teach them logic and the right World View on each subject. 

Do I wish the Herb Fairies had a more Christian World View? Yep. But honestly, the part I object to is so tiny and their is so much good in the books themselves, and the bad can so easily be used to prepare them for the future, it doesn't bother me.

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