A Journey through the Alphabet
Illustrated by Krystyna Emilia Kurzyca
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I can’t begin to describe how much I love this story and the fact that Shelley Davidow has so much insight and such an understanding of children that she created it. The Wise Enchanter actually makes me wish that I could go back to the time before I learned to read and enter the magic world of words through this rich and wonderful door. I especially love that the story is so very like the worlds I created for myself in those pre-written-word days, yet carries with it the assurance that there are depths of goodness in the world and that searching for them is a worthy, yea, necessary thing to do. What could be a better way to introduce our written language to a child? This book is a beautiful creation and a gift to treasure.
Here’s a small sample, from the Prologue:
[The Wise Enchanter is on his magical island, and is troubled. He has called his daughter, Gadrun, to him.]
Gadrun ran to her father. A frown creased her brow. “Dear father,” she said, “I see that you are worried.”
“I am getting old,” he replied. “Without Wisdom, there can be no new Enchanters after I am gone. No children have come to my island for many years. It is happening just as I feared. Wisdom is fading in the world. Words are disappearing. The brightness in the sky is vanishing and the dark Cloud of Ignorance has grown suddenly dense. A new darkness is looming. Someone is being created in the deep. He is growing stronger every minute. If he is not stopped, he will grow immense. If he grows strong enough, he will rise up and devour every word and sound. The earth will become a cold, silent place, too terrible to imagine.”
“Who are you talking about?” Gadrun whispered.
“I do not like to utter his name,” her father whispered. “But I will say it for you. His name is the Master of Ignorance and Shadows. His name is Urckl!”
Gadrun grew pale and silent at the mention of Urckl. Once, some time ago, Urckl had found enough strength to send one of his messengers to the end of the world. Something terrible had happened then in the Enchanted Islands and Gadrun’s heart had been broken.
And thus, the adventure begins.
I should add that The Wise Enchanter is filled with soft black-and-white drawings that you can easily transform into main lesson drawings for the child(ren) you are teaching to recreate as each letter is rescued from darkness.
This is a wonderful, vibrant, masterful book — may your journey through it be rich and rewarding!