The Bottom Line
The Whimsical Tarot is a lot of fun -- although I originally bought it for my children to use, I found myself drawn to some of the really clever imagery. Hanson-Roberts uses traditional fairy-tale characters to portray the divinatory meanings of each card. The major Arcana, in particular, are well-chosen, as are the court cards. This is a great deck to use if you're teaching kids the Tarot, or if you just want to expand your own horizons a bit. The artwork is lovely, and the card associations are clearly thought out. Definitely worth buying, if you enjoy Tarot and classic children's stories!
- Cute, colorful artwork makes this a great deck for children to learn Tarot.
- Characters from traditional fairy tales make up most of the cards.
- Small details make this deck a lot of fun to use.
- If you don't like cute, or prefer your Tarot dark, this isn't the deck for you.
- There's few references to the Kabbalistic meanings found in Rider Waite and other older decks.
- Some of the negative messages seem to have been left out, in favor of happier concepts.
Colorful, bright imagery makes even the "scarier" cards easier for children to work with.
If you read for others, and have a querent who's uncomfortable with traditional Tarot images, this deck is a good substitute.
Traditional meanings are referenced, but on a somewhat more contemplative level.
Guide Review - Review: The Whimsical Tarot Deck
When I first saw the Whimsical Tarot, I immediately thought, "Oh, my, that's a little too fluffy for me." However, I wanted a deck my kids could use and understand, so I picked it up anyway. I was pleasantly surprised.
Created by Dorothy Morrison, and illustrated by Mary Hanson-Roberts, this deck is downright fun. Yes, it is cute, but it's also clever. If you're teaching kids about Tarot, or if you read for others and have a Querent who may feel a little edgy with the traditionally darker Tarot associations, this deck is fantastic. Cards are represented by characters from classic children's tales -- the Fool is the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, teetering on a cliff beside the Yellow Brick Road. The Chariot is Cinderella's pumpkin coach pulled by a pair of black and white mice. Other characters such as Brer Rabbit, Robin Hood, the Owl and the Pussycat, and even Father Christmas himself make an appearance as well.
One of the things that struck me about this deck was that while using it, I had to put some thought into the image associations, and found that on a deeper level, most of them made sense. The Kabbalistic messages found in the original Rider Waite deck are gone, replaced with fun, colorful artwork. A real treat in the Whimsical Tarot are the small (and frequently amusing) details on the cards.
Be warned, however -- if you're not a fan of cute or childlike, this isn't the deck for you. On the other hand, if you work with kids or just enjoy kid things, it's a lot of fun to read from this deck. Now, if only it was available in a smaller size to fit my child's hands!!