The Art of Darkness

A Young Wizard’s Handbook

February 28th, 2011 by Cobwebs

How to Trap a ZombieOh, wow; where was this book when I was ten years old?

A.R. Rotruck used to have grand imaginary adventures when she was a child, with the help of props she made herself.

When she wasn’t reading, the ten-year-old me (we’ll call her “Tamie”) spent a lot of time playing in the woods and making crafts. For all the books she read, she never found one that would help with this particular hobby. Most of Tamie’s ramblings involved imagining various fantasy scenarios; grand quests and adventures. Tamie made a burlap sack to carry into the woods because it seemed like something the fantasy version of Tamie (maybe call her Fatamie? No, that’s getting a bit ridiculous.) would carry. It was bulky and scratchy, but it also, to Tamie’s ten-year-old brain, seemed authentic. Tamie would cobble together bits and pieces of crafts from books on Native American and colonial/pioneer folk art. Tamily only had one children’s book in this genre; the rest of the crafts were far too advanced for a ten-year-old. With Young Wizards Handbook, I wanted to write a book for the children like Tamie: fantasy fans who want to make things to help their imagination come alive with physical tools.

You can read the rest of the “big idea” behind her book here.

I love this idea. I want to go back in time and give myself a copy.

It’s great that the projects are both age-appropriate and engaging: It not only encourages imagination, it sounds like a great crafting primer for kids.

If you’ve got a young adventurer who yearns to track vampires to their lair or hobnob with hobgoblins, this would be an excellent gift. (Shadowboy will be receiving one shortly.)

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