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The Element Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mind Body Spirit & Earth

Foreword Review — May / June 1998

“Dad, do I have good karma?” Such a vexing but valid question certainly deserves a considered answer, but parents would be hard pressed to find one in the standard set of encyclopedias. While World Book and Britannica do a solid job with names, dates and places, when it comes to human potential, both spiritual and physical, there is a big gap in accessible information for children. The Element Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mind, Body, Spirit & Earth fills that gap with intelligent and reflective entries all presented in a truly superb design.

Divided into the four major sections of the title by color-coded page corners, the book covers a broad range of New Age topics from consciousness to reincarnation to prophets and gurus, in brief but pointed text. Some of these, such as the item on “What Happens When We Die?” which runs only five sentences, or “Places of Worship,” which runs only three sentences, could have been expanded upon. Others, like the entry on calendars and the one on trees, are excellent.

Author Joanna Crosse drew on experience gained from traveling around the world for a year with her husband and two small children, visiting sacred sites and living in eco-friendly and spiritual communities, to delve into the sensitive subject of New Age for children.

“We didn’t find any one answer, but instead we discovered a wealth of knowledge and experience that celebrated human potential and the Earth’s natural resources in all sorts of new and exciting ways.” That foundation of knowledge without judgment sets the tone of the book. No belief is presented as right or wrong, but rather as an option embraced by some. Adequate glossary, thorough index and bibliography.