Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Leave the Dark Magic for the Grown Ups

Voodoo for Kids?

While wandering through the Children's Pavilion at BEA (Book Expo America) last week I stopped at Hinkler Books' Booth. They had a lot of educational books and some interesting kits. I was looking at a spinning display, when on the top I saw a Voodoo Kit. I am assuming this was for kids and I must say I was very taken aback. Voodoo for kids, really? I mean I am all for a healthy expression of frustration or anger but teaching children to poke pins into a little doll while pretending that is a friend or other child that upset them does not seem like a good idea. I went to Hinkler's website and did not find the product. I am not sure if that means they were just testing it out at the show or if it is too new to be on their website. The image to the left is one that I found online that looked similar to the kit I saw but not the exact one.

In doing a quick Google search though it appears you can buy voodoo kits with instructional books from a few reputable publishers, most notable Macmillan and Running Press. I am surprised but, at least those kits are marketed to adults. I think I am still hung up on the idea of marketing something like that to children. I realize that kids go through a morbid phase somewhere between 5-13 but giving them a voodoo kit seems unnecessary. Not to mention giving any boy under the age of 12 a sharp object just seems like a bad idea. I feel like kids are so impressionable that we should be teaching them to forgive and let go of things not to try and hurt people that upset them. Doesn't it seem like giving children a voodoo kit is just encouraging them to hold grudges and is teaching them that they have the right to decide how someone else should be punished for a mistake?

I obviously think this is a bad idea but I would love to hear from you what you think about voodoo kits for kids and if you have seen any available.


  1. Wow, that is most definitely something I have never thought of before. While I like the idea of informative books on voodoo and hoodoo for children - I'm all about education - I really think the focus on voodoo dolls quite disturbing for children. Very strange.

  2. Trisha, thanks for in the input, glad I am not the only one who finds it a bit odd to give a voodoo doll to a child.

  3. WOW.

    All the morality questions aside, did the kids kit you saw come with needles and matches?? Sounds like a safety hazard...

    I'm sure there's an age that you begin to teach kids about things like voodoo, but I can't imagine that age being anywhere earlier than High School... However, it's easy for me to be biased with my own beliefs...

    Though I guess it's safer than giving them a handgun and a school full of bullies...

    Ruth, this is a great blog, keep it up, I love it:)

  4. Mark, the kit had pins but no matches. I agree it is a real safety hazard to hand over a fist full of pins to an 8 year-old. Thanks for the encouraging comments on the blog!

  5. Seriously, I don't agree with this but Ruth,you should know this, I'm extremely similar to you when it comes to things like this.