Back in April Ari turned six and celebrated with an epic Wildwood-inspired adventure at the Audobon Society, and an Angry Bird Star Wars themed cake, because, you know, his parents are totally freaking rad.
The wooded journey began when the kiddos each chose their preferred group: Birds at the Avian Principality, magical North Wood creatures, or Bandits at the Bandit Camp. Each group was assigned a leader who possessed a map of the forest (Wildwood). They were instructed to follow the map and complete their assignments as they went (find a place to set up camp (Bandits), find 6 birds, find 6 forest creatures, etc.). The Dowager Governess was lurking through the forest, eager to snatch any creature or fight a bandit. She was determined to destroy the forest for her own good, using ivy as her weapon (because it could consume the forest and she would take power). But luckily (for the forest? the kids? the fun of the party?!) Elder Mystic, Ephiginia, informed all of the children about the power of the ivy and how they could use it "for good" to influence the Dowager Governess. At the end of their adventures, they all met at "the plinth" by the water where Ari's mama collected the tools they had "earned" by doing their assigned tasks along the way. The trinkets (owl, shovel, soldier, etc.) represented important items used or needed to save the forest. These were displayed on a wooden tree (so symbolic!). Eventually, the Dowager Governess came down to "the plinth" where the kids wrapped her in ivy, which magically changed her from evil to good. At the end of the party, they all received a bag with 6 magic stones to take home, in a bag stamped with with a block print of St. Johns Bridge (which is where the Wildwood adventure begins in the first book), drawn and carved by Ari's talented dad, who also made the crazy cake. Because this kid's parents are not just rad, they're crazy creative and talented.
Oh and there was a raven named Ari. No joke.