In Spirit Animals, Victoria Covell reveals the mythical symbolism of familiar fauna; for example, turtles remind us to be patient, while eagles call us to noble acts. Personal stories, as well as Noah Buchanan’s soulful, luminous paintings, illustrate the wonder and magic of each animal.
— Mothering – Melissa Chianta (November/December 2003)
By a mother-and-son tam – with text by Victoria Covell and beautiful illustrations by her son Noah Buchanan – this book presents 24 spirit animals, from badger, the warrior who speaks the truth, to wolf, representative of integrity, loyalty, and commitment. Covell provides interesting explanations, stories, and facts to flesh out the animals’ meanings. For each animal, she offers a little lesson about its significance, including what it might mean as a gift to encounter this animal and what lesson it is if the animal comes into your life. There’s also a little “beware” sentence, sort of an admonishment, to be used as a lesson also. Next, for each animal, a personal story of an encounter is told by Covell and others. Biologists, naturalists, and animal advocates share their accounts of encounters. I laughed and cried at these moving stories, which were filled with joy, sorrow, and love.
Covell explains the significance of encountering animals – in the wild and in dreams – and how to know when it is a sign from spirit and when it is not. Only the person having the encounter can know for sure, Covell says. Covell also explores how to call animals to you and how to choose a spirit-animal guardian. Buchanan’s oil paintings contribute much to the book and will draw customers to it. Display Spirit Animals with Animal-Speak, Animal Wise, and The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews and Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson
— New Age Retailer – Sandi Less (July/August 2001)
I LOVE this book – it’s words, and spirit. Use it to learn for yourself and to awaken these patterns of love that are never lost in your children, by reading these inspiring stories, these heartful words of calling, to them. All the world will be a better place for it.
— Brooke Medicine Eagle – Author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing
Starting with “Badger” and ending with “Wolf,” this beautifully illustrated hardbound volume presents 24 North American creatures honored by Native Americans for the gifts of wisdom they bring to humankind. The author asks, “Have you ever had an encounter with a wild animal in which it looked straight into your eyes, as if it were trying to give you a message?” Whether in dreams, visions, or in the natural world, these connections with other species offer a pathway to self-knowledge and healing if we choose honor their innate qualities. Covell offers guidelines for “calling” spirit animals and for grasping the personal and symbolic significance of our experiences. Chapters on each animal identify their individual “gifts.” Frog, for example, represents ‘adaptability’: “If Frog has chosen to appear to you, it is asking you to encourage that part of yourself that is not only open to change, but understands its benefits.” This is followed by a fascinating narrative account of an actual personal experience, as well as a short section of naturalist’s “facts.” Watercolor illustrations by Noah Buchanan (the author’s son) make this an appealing gift for young people as well as adults.
— NAPRA ReView – January 2001