Teaching Guide: View the Broomstix teaching guide for The Last Wild Witch online, or download it here for free. Great for the classroom, or at home. For kids and adults. What a fun idea for a festive Book Club gathering!
In the very heart of the last magic forest lived the last wild Witch.
This is the story of how the children of the perfect town let a little wildness get inside them, found their joy and courage, and saved the last wild Witch and the last magic forest from disappearing. The Last Wild Witch is a fable for our time.
This story reminds us of the intuitive nature of children—their freedom of expression and deep passion for justice. We see these life-affirming instincts contrasted to oppressive, patriarchal values that have sanctioned the devastation of old growth forests and other natural environments. These kid heroes must follow their yet un-stifled inner voices, even if it means resisting control and disregard for the natural world by their parents and political town authorities. Empowered children can save the world, as indeed these children do.
"The Last Wild Witch reminds us that courage, nonconformity, and attention to intuition are the real things that will save the wild world we love." Ariel Gore—Author and co-founder of Hip Mama Magazine
The Witch, centered and mysterious, offers a magic brew of herbs, leaves and berries for restoring all beings—including fish, birds, forest animals, insects, plants, children and eventually adults—to their higher selves.
Starhawk and Lindy Kehoe have been contributors to the We’Moon Datebook for many years. Both Geminis, Lindy in her first Saturn return and Starhawk entering her second, these women are brilliant in their creations as mission-living activists. The work they have created is an exciting new contribution to earth-loving literature for children of all ages.
“The Last Wild Witch is a wonderful way to teach tolerance, respect for nature, and valuing differences. The incredible surrealistic colored paintings are the ideal palate to complement this imaginative teaching tale.”
For the full review, go to the Picturebook Shelf on The Midwest Book Review website.
About the Author – Starhawk
Starhawk is one of the most respected voices in modern earth-based spirituality. She is also well-known as a global justice activist and organizer, whose work and writings have inspired many to action. She is the author or coauthor of ten books, including The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, The Fifth Sacred Thing and The Earth Path.
Starhawk also practices permaculture and teaches courses in regenerative design. Visit the Earth Activist Training websitee for more information.Visit Starhawk's website here.
About the Illustrator – Lindy Kehoe
Lindy Kehoe is a painter of magical realms and playful characters. Her art echoes the remembrance of the child heart. She lives and loves in Southern Oregon, dreaming of new earth visions. She is a fairy tale writer, creating stories that weave myths of all time. Visit Lindy's website here.
About the Publisher – Mother Tongue Ink
Mother Tongue Ink publications feature creative work by women, celebrating earth-based spirituality and visions for a changing world. Since 1981, MTInk has published We’Moon: Gaia Rhythms for Womyn—the well-known eco-feminist datebook, astrological moon calendar and daily guide to natural cycles—with art and writing from the growing edge of international women’s culture. The Last Wild Witch is our first children’s book.
Written by Nat & Kat of Broomstix
Download Broomstix Teaching Guide here.
Discover your wild side . . .
The perfect town in the perfect world, introduced in the first pages of Starhawk’s The Last Wild Witch, could be an idealistic “Any Town” USA: rows of cookie cutter houses, governed by “absolute” rules with leaders requiring blind compliance—and kids that can sense that there's something more “out there” than just being “perfect.”
The tale, written in simple language with a rhythm that steadily grows as the story progresses, deals with many issues and questions that are certainly worthy of discussion by both children and adults. It touches upon the creation of rules, the necessity of some and the arbitrary nature of others, and the eternal difference in worldviews and perceptions between innocence (kids) and experience (adults). It also shows how this effects what we do and the way we walk our Life Paths: conformity vs. individualism, engineered town vs. the wilds of Nature.
The Last Wild Witch would certainly appeal to New Age and Pagan audiences: families who have felt the wildness and embraced the woods. However, the tale is also relevant to folks who follow traditional and mainstream paths. Too often forest and farms are disappearing beneath the cement and asphalt of shopping malls and housing developments. As our natural world shrinks, more and more people are awakening to the importance of Nature, and the need to live in harmony with Her.
By letting our children lead us, through their imaginations and affinity with pristine Nature, there is hope that we have not sat down to tea with our last wild witch. This thought is brought to life through the shamanistic beat of Starhawk's words, and the vibrant, swirling art of Lindy Kehoe's paintings. Readers will see the auras and feel the pulse of their neighborhoods, and discover the beauty of the wildness that waits not too far from their own doorsteps. You might want to read this one aloud—even if you're by yourself. A wild delight!
Review by Ruth Mountaingrove
The Last Wilde Witch by Starhawk with illustrations by Lindy Kehoe. Mother Tongue Ink, 2009, 36 pages, hard cover, $18.95
The Last Wild Witch will make being a witch popular with children who may be afraid of those witches they have seen at Halloween. Fairy tales serve a useful purpose though the child sitting on your lap may not be aware of what they are learning. In The Last Wild Witch we learn that perfectionism is perhaps not the way to go. It becomes dullsville when a way of life does not allow for a little wildness or change. So there is the wild witch stirring her cauldron and beating her drum calling us to find the richness of like.
When I was six I was given a book of fairy tales and learned there were leprechauns, fairies, little green elves and trolls who lived under the bridge and demanded pay before you could cross over. Very scary. I did not know how to read so my mother read them to me, as she would do later with Alice in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass and At The Back of the North Wind.
The illustrations in The Last Wild Witch are imaginative. They swirl and swoop. There are bright colors and there are children who have a little wildness in them. Their parents, of course, are very stiff and proper and are alarmed at their children’s wildness. The children sneak out at night to go visit the wild witch.
This book is very PC. There are brown children, green children, blue children, and violet. Before you read The Last Wild Witch to a child, read it aloud to yourself. Know where the fish are, the birds, the deer, skunk and other denizens of the wild forest. Then, when you are asked by your child, you can point them out to her. There is repetition in the text to the delight of the child because she will be memorizing the words and she can join in with you and be “reading." Dr. Seuss understood that, and Starhawk does too. The Last Wild Witch seems like a lovely gift for a child, a daughter, a niece, a lesbian friend or a lesbian couple who are raising a child or children.