It's rare to find a book about astrology that's based on spiritual practice, not giving cookbook predictions or stereotypical descriptions but actually helping us discover and develop our strengths and nurture the best in our friends. To find such a book written for readers ages 8 - 12 years old is a surprise and a treat.

The Junior Astrologer's Handbook describes astrology as "a tool you can use to help you figure things out." It gives this sensible explanation of why it works: "... the movements of celestial bodies — like the planets and certain constellations — reflect what is happening to us here on earth. So we can use the movements of the stars to help us understand what's going on in our lives — and help us get to know ourselves better."

The book proceeds to engagingly unfold the meaning of Sun Signs, Moon Signs, and Rising Signs, giving guidance about finding out what yours are. It then applies this information to managing school, friends, and family with sections like Harnessing Your Strengths, Strengthening Your Weaknesses, How to Be a Great Friend, and How to Let the People You Love Know It.

The book unfolds each of the signs of the zodiac in loving detail. It illustrates each sign with a short biography of a famous person (such as Serena Williams with sun in Libra), summaries of significant aspects, and a suggested craft project. The craft idea for Sagittarius, for instance, is how to make a vision board. "This project is a supercool DIY bulletin board," writes Van De Car. "Once it's set up, you can hang anything you like on it, from interesting things you find in the woods or pictures of you and your friends to poems or even pictures from magazines — anything!" Illustrator Uta Krogmann shows a shiny board, a tape measure, a hammer, scissors, and tacks. A list of materials is followed by clear, step-by-step instructions.

The handbook also provides meditations to help young people focus, carve out space for themselves, keep calm, and more. A helpful glossary of terms rounds out this welcoming and informative guide.