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Review of the Familiar Finders books, a story and journal combo for kids!

The Familiar Finders is a set of books designed for kids to imagine a fantastic hidden world filled with creatures that have a magical form AND to journal about it!  While not a typical tabletop RPG, this book combo encourages kids to go out in nature and imagine the world of the familiars, kind of like a journaling LARP (live action roleplay) adventure!  It’s encouraged my kid to go on many walks since we’ve started playing, and I hope you enjoy it too!

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What are the Familiar Finders books about?

The Familiar Finders books are about you being a Finder who can see the hidden magical Familiars within each animal that they come across!

The storybook part of this duo, Finding Familiars, explains how Finders seek out Familiars in many locations, from lakes and streams, to forests and caves, to even within a house, and catalog them in their journals.  There’s magic to be found everywhere, with a little imagination, and fantastic creatures too.

In the accompanying journal, My Familiar Field Journal, you get to be a Finder too!  When kids go out on walks or find a creature at home, they get to be a Finder and imagine that animal as a Familiar!  Kids write down and draw about that animal and their Familiar form, then they match them up with a witch who has aligned interests!

After reading the Finding Familiars book, we took our journal out on a walk in the woods and met SEVERAL new animal friends.  My kid’s favorite was a fellow walker’s dog who stopped to chat for a bit, and let my kid pet their (very friendly and kissy) dog.  He had a great time, and later, was VERY excited to fill out the journal together (he drew, and I wrote). 

Finding familiars journal entry by my kid - showing a dog drawing and all journal parts filled out

Who would the Familiar Finders books be good for?

Finding Familiars main character with familiar and journal

The Familiar Finders books would be great for any age!

My kid is 4 years old and loved both Finding Familiars and My Familiar Field Journal, so it’s great for young ones.  The picture book was on point (picture books usually go up to about age 8).  For the journal, I help with writing because he’s not quite there yet, but, because it also incorporates drawing, he draws all the pictures and fills in the option bubbles.

For older kids and grown ups, the Familiar Finders book may not be so applicable after about age 8ish, however, the journal would still be great!  There’s lots of journaling tabletop RPGs out there, but this one is unique in that it requires quite a bit of real-world connection, and having something to help you pay attention to the real-world and then still be creative with it is great for everyone.  It also helps kids to practice writing and drawing skills, encourages going out into nature, and promotes mindfulness practices.

How the Familiar Finders books encourage exploration and creativity

The Familiar Finders books encourage readers to go out, observe, and imagine at the same time.  This has motivated my kid (and me, if I must admit) to go out on more walks and to approach household visitors (like a spider or ant) with curiosity and excitement instead of fear or treating them like a pest.  

Finding familiars - first journal entry

It is also a great creative outlet and has shown me how imaginative my kid can be with very simple prompts.  A lot of the creatures that he sees and then makes up Familiar for in the journal become the subject of these awesome stories he creates and tells me about.  He builds whole worlds and adventures around them, and I am happy that this provides him with a channel for all that creativity and being able to keep it alive as he gets older.

Having a combination of both a book and journal sets up a story in the beginning to frame everything and then gives readers something to do with that story and continue it how they want.  I think it is a wonderful idea to have these two books complimenting each other to both build a world up and then let readers play in it.

Our favorite parts about the Familiar Finders books

One of my favorite things about Finding Familiars is the art.  It is so well illustrated and gives everything a lighthearted adventure vibe.   For my kid, he LOVED the little fox companion that followed the main character around.  The fox is this Finder’s Familiar and keeps getting into some mild mischief with the other Familiars that are out there.

In My Familiar Field Journal, I liked that there’s a good mix of writing, filling in option bubbles, and drawing – there’s lots of ways to interact and log information to allow for more connection.  I also liked that there’s elements to record for both the Familiar and the world around them, so it encourages paying attention to where, what, and who at the same time.  For my kid, he really liked getting to draw and answering the prompts – the questions were just right for him to answer, and those option bubbles and drawing blocks gave him a way to interact beyond writing too.

Overall thoughts on the Familiar Finders books

These two books are amazing and encourage creativity, practicing RP skills, and seeing the world in different ways!  We’ve been having fun with them, and we’ll continue to do so as the seasons change and we encounter different potential Familiars.  The Familiar Finders books have a unique read and play combo that makes them particularly special, and I hope you are able to try this adventure out and become a Finder yourself!

Find a copy of the Familiar Finders books

You can get a copy of Finding Familiars and My Familiar Field Journal through either the Dice Up Games website or through Amazon

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