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Tarot For Kids


Author: Theresa Reed
Artist: Kailey Whitman
ISBN: 978-1-68364-822-2
Weight: not available
Card Size: 14cm x 9.5cm /5.5in x 3.75 in
Box Size: (essentially same as above ...sturdy flip-top box)
Language: English
Purchase Here: Amazon, eBay, etc ...or from the Author's website: www.thetarotlady.com/tarot-for-kids/

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I just received this deck two days ago, and while I haven’t actually used it yet for divination, I have read the book over several times, handled the cards, etc.


I have to say that, with one caveat, I highly recommend Tarot For Kids.  (I’ll explain the caveat later.)


The concept is fantastic. The book—written by well-respected tarot author, teacher, and practitioner Theresa Reed—is simple, pragmatic, jargon-free, and is aimed at children to learn to read tarot for themselves. As the title would suggest, of course.  What a great idea!


What makes Tarot For Kids even more exciting is that Theresa’s method of reading and understanding the cards can be easily adapted to reading for adults as well.  If your reading style, like mine, works more with the practical, problem-solving side of tarot, rather than the spiritual know-thyself side, this book is a gem. The book gets down to the basics.

I maintain that the book could be used with any RWS-based deck, to be honest.  While Theresa Reed has changed a few card names to make them clearer and/or less scary for children (Devil becomes Bully, Hierophant becomes Rules, etc) the book indicates where these changes have been made and which traditional card has been replaced.  So you could use the book with any other RWS-based deck.


Each card is given its own separate page in the book. (The book is the same dimension size as the cards and fits inside the box with the cards.)Each card’s page contains:


1) the name of the card
2) a key phrase for the card
3) how to interpret it, both upright and reversed
4) a final ‘question’ to ask yourself about the card.


The book is especially good with the court cards, which are often difficult to read—but not in Tarot For Kids.  A sample entry here, for Knight of Coins/Pentacles, shows how straightforward Theresa Reed's approach is:


Knight of Coins

Key phrase: Stay the Course

Upright: When you see the Knight of Coins, it means that you must plant your feet on the ground and stay the course.  Slow and steady will get you to the finish line. Taking your time will ensure that you do a great job as you reach the goal.  This card also favours a practical approach to problems. Look for the way forward that makes the most sense. Sometimes this card can also indicate a loyal friend. They will be there when you need them the most.

Reversed: So stubborn! That’s the energy of this reversed card. You or someone else refuses to budge. Maybe you’re grumpy or perhaps afraid of making a change. Try to open your mind.  It might not be as bad as you think.

Question: What is the most commonsense approach that you need to use at this time?


The book also contains an introduction, explaining what tarot is.  It gives a few pointers as to how to use the tarot and who to use it for, what some of the card groups signify (Majors=Big Lessons, Minors=Daily Life or People) and how to do a reading.

Theresa Reed favours the one-card or three-card spread (Situation—What You Need To Know—Advice) which is an uncomplicated approach to take when introducing tarot reading to children.  Can’t fault it. The book also includes a VERY valuable short section on the kinds of questions that work well with tarot…in other words, how best to frame a question.  This is another tactic in this book that can certainly be adapted for adult readings.  Excellent advice all around.


Now to my caveat …which is my opinion only and others are likely to disagree.  But I actually don’t like the artwork.  I would say it veers towards being insipid.  It does pay attention to racial diversity—which is good—but the images employ mostly washed-out colour choices, and are not at all exciting to look at (and kids do love excitement.)


Most annoying of all, the cards would be difficult to read intuitively. Why? Because each human character depicted on the cards (trust me on this) exhibits the same facial expression—neutral. VERY neutral.


NO smiles, no frowns, no expression of excitement or anger or fear or pleasure.  It doesn’t matter what is happening in the card, or what the card is supposed to stand for, the people’s faces are all the same.  Expressions are slightly bemused, often with a tinge of anxiety or uncertainty.  Nothing more.

For example, The Fool (pictured  here) doesn’t look like she’s heading off on an adventure with a high heart and bursting with enthusiasm, does she?  Instead, she looks as if she’s concerned about missing the school bus. That’s blah and misleading energy, when dealing with The Fool, in my opinion.

The Nine Of Cups guy is just sitting there, looking neutral, instead of being self-satisfied and enjoying his good fortune.  The Knight of Cups guy looks like he’s actually falling asleep in the saddle, and the horse is about to nod off as well.  There is no active energy to be found in any of these card designs, I’m afraid.  And that goes for all of them in the deck.


I keep wishing that somebody like Anna K could have done the card designs for this otherwise excellent project.

Lively facial expressions that fit the card meanings, coupled with colours that enhance the meanings and attract the eye would have transformed this deck into something of a marvel. As it is, the deck itself feels to me as if it has missed the mark, at least for children.

I can’t see kids getting excited about learning the tarot via these pictures. They are too sanitised to be engaging, in my opinion.  (The huge card size and the fact that the card surface is matt and doesn’t slide easily while shuffling might also be flaws, but I guess I’d have to watch kids using it to make sure about that.)


All that being said, the Tarot for Kids IS a groundbreaking approach to tarot, and I do highly recommend buying it.  But you may find yourself applying Theresa Reed’s top-notch, pragmatic, and insightful book to a different RWS-based deck—one that is a lot more dynamic to work with.  I know I certainly will.

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