The rogue crept stealthily along the dark corridor, searching for traps and secrets. Behind her, the wizard and the fighter silently argued over what to do with the gold they’d taken from the goblins. The ranger was behind them all, carefully adjusting his baby carrier. His little boy giggled loudly in the sling on his back, surely alerting the troll to the creeping heroes. “Shh!” he tried. “Now where’s that cuddly Beholder toy?”
Dungeons & Dragons is all about bringing family and friends of all ages together, and now that tradition can start even earlier with the newly released The 123s and The ABCs of D&D, published by Mirror Stone and Hunters Entertainment.
The First Glimpse of Adventure
If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll be desperate to join in whenever you get a group of friends together to play a board game or RPG. Because of this, they get exposed to a myriad of exciting fantasy worlds, years before they can talk, count, or even spell. So why not make the most of that enthusiasm and excitement by encouraging them to learn things too?
Your kids can get their first glimpse into the fantastic world of Dungeons & Dragons, even as they learn the alphabet or their early numbers with The 123s and The ABCs of D&D. They can learn letters, numbers, and share your love of D&D and RPGs through read-aloud-friendly rhyming couplets that affectionately draw on the history and lore of Dungeons & Dragons.
Avid followers of Geekdad might recognize the concept from the similarly titled Kickstarted book The ABCs of RPGs, reviewed by Will James in 2016, which was the precursor to these tomes. As he noted then, the art is one of the main draws of the books. Familiar monsters, fantastic locations, and fabulously representative characters are all gloriously captured in Caleb Cleaveland’s cartoon style.
The illustrations are striking, full of representation, and toned perfectly for children’s books. But for me, as a lover of words, the text is what makes me the most excited. Too often do I find myself reading similar books to my son and being bored and unimpressed with the language, but here you find lexical choices usually far removed from the norm. Where else would you see the words “prophecy,” “sigils,” and “liches” in a children’s book of letter and numbers? Ivan Van Norman, producer and publisher of multiple RPGs, wrote these books to share his passion for roleplaying games with his (at the time) 1-year-old son, and that passion permeates every page.
The ABCs of D&D
The ABCs of D&D conforms to the recognizable format of children’s ABC books. From “A is for Adventure” right through to “Z is for Zeal,” The ABCs of D&D lovingly takes children on a journey through the world of D&D. It is full of subtle references and knowing winks that parents who know their way around a DM screen will recognize and enjoy.
The 123s of D&D
The 123s of D&D tells the story of two heroes on a quest to save the world. It concludes with a rhyming bestiary that introduces young readers to all manner of lesser-known D&D monsters, including the gloriously cute Almiraj (unicorn-bunnies) and ever-popular Tabaxi (cat people).
The 123s of D&D and The ABCs of D&D are the perfect books for preparing your young wannabe heroes for the life of quests and exploration. Finally, you can sit down and share your love of Dungeons & Dragons with your paladin-in-training or sorceress-to-be, without worrying about them swallowing dice breaking or your precious mini-figures.