“No harvest is had without the seed first being sewn” King Olaf Trygyvisson’s Saga Ch.8
And the seed Canadian-born author, Jennifer Hartman has sewn
will continue traditions of her Norse ancestry. She will
feed minds with lasting nourishment into the future.
In 2020, Jennifer Hartman’s debut picture book “Old Mother Frost” was a celebration and honour to her Swedish heritage and a node to her pagan up roots. A ground-breaking publication for this particular genre, Jennifer saw a hole in the market aimed at children’s Yuletide folklore. Once her first-born arrived, she decided to do something about it.
Since then, the productive young mother/author forged a creative content website called Pagankids a fantastic, fun and useful resource for any keen little viking or those seeking insight into their own Norse pagan roots.
What does Pagan Kids have to offer and is it useful for those new to Nordic mythology, celebrations and culture?
Pagan Kids is a Norse pagan resource for families. It offers children’s books, free educational printables, research articles about the holidays, blogs about other helpful resources, and even a small online clothing shop which acts as a funding platform for my projects.
Everything Pagan Kids offers is useful to those who want to teach children (and beginners) about Norse mythology, traditions, legends and culture. It also helps instil values and connection throughout the year.
You could of well been a shield maiden in another life. You’re an unstoppable force having just released a kickstarter for your second book, this time for toddlers. Please tell us more!
Haha. Thank you! I feel like a shield maiden may get more rest than a ‘Haus Freya’ like me though…
“Who Is That in the Sky? released this morning (July 9) on Kickstarter. It’s a board-book for toddlers that introduces them to the lesser known Norse deities in the sky (and the solar cycle).
I got the idea for it when reading the Voluspa and thought, “Why doesn’t this already exist for kids?” From there the book practically wrote itself!”
Bedtime stories in your house must be an enchanting, epic saga every night,
what’s some of your favourites?
It’s funny because my son’s first bedtime book was Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman when he was less than six months old. He refused to sleep unless he heard my voice, so I read the entire book in an upbeat, friendly tone until he fell asleep. Trust me when I say, you’ve never heard the slaughter of Ragnarok read in such a happy and welcoming way.
Now my son is two and he doesn’t really appreciate Old Mother Frost yet (my first book for older kids), but I’m really hoping he will enjoy this new one since it’s more age-appropriate. His current favourite books are peek-a-boo stories and a goodnight construction site books. I have picked up a few other Norse myth books for kids that he’s starting to get interested in though.
What has been the most rewarding part of your writing journey so far?
The most rewarding part of my writing journey so far is the personal drive and sense of purpose that comes from parents messaging me about how much my books mean to them and their families.
Review By Jenny Catalano…
“As a mother of three young ones, I really enjoyed reading “Who is that in the Sky?” from start to finish, I was engaged with the solar cycles of a day/night period. It would really help toddlers understand timing of the sun and moon. The colour palette is gentle, with the added bonus of exploding, powerful Norse deities throughout the pages. Explaining when they arrive – giving us light with sun or dark with moon. The nordic type font is perfectly placed with simple yet informative sentences, a must read by a toasty fire”.
Jenny Catalano is a children’s writer and illustrator. She lives in Eastern Australia where she is inspired by the natural environment and drawn to ancient worlds through her family history.