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The House that Jack Built – A Barefoot Book Review

The House that Jack Built

Illustrated by: Diana Mayo

Read Alone: Ages 4-7
Read Together: Ages 0-4
Paperback; Full-color illustrations; 24pp;
10.25 x 10 inches
I could literally memorize all the lines of this book by now! Who wouldn’t if you are reading this book every single day with your child? My daughter just loves everything about the book ~ especially all the rhyming words, repetitive lines (which are very easy to memorize) and the sounds of each of the characters in the book which it makes it even livelier and more interactive.
This book also is a good proof of the saying “Don’t judge the book by its cover.” When I first got this book from the mail, it really didn’t interest me that much. I am not sure why but the cover, despite its vivid color and the carefully designed drawing of a house with a man on it wasn’t that appealing upon its first sight. To me, it didn’t look as if the book was interesting at all. In fact, I felt like that book would just contain like some barnyard animals and the usual word-picture identification of the animals that you could see in the barn. But, boy I was wrong!
This book is totally the opposite of my first impression. As soon as I went through the first page, the lines that slowly builds up from one incident to the next give the book a sense of interactivity. The book is also predictable in such a way that the reader would be able to instantly get the series of events as it unfolds. As the events build up, so as the characters. It’s like opening a present with the best surprise at the end of the wrapping paper!
The CD is the best part of this! All the characters that are involved in each line gives out a particular sound which is beneficial for readers who are trying to associate words to sounds and vice versa. My daughter loves it whenever the words cat, dog, rat, cow, maiden and man come up because she could then make the sound that the book initially presented! It is a nice way for her to associate these sounds and remember these to connect to a particular word.

Skip through the Seasons – by Stella Blackstone (book review)


Skip through the Seasons

(formerly published as Jump into January)  

Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Maria Carluccio

Read Alone: Ages 4-9
Read Together: Ages 0-4
Paperback; Full-color illustrations; 32pp;
10.25 x 10 inches

This is one of the many books that the author Stella Blackstone wrote. Among the many other best-selling books that Stella Blackstone wrote were My Granny Went to Market, Cleo the Cat series, Dragon on the Doorstep, I wish I were a Dinosaur, Secret Seahorse, Alligator Alphabet, An Island in the Sun, Bear series, Who are you? and Where’s the cat? Each of these books that Stella Blacktone wrote is distinctive of each other but the diversity of topics presented in each book is evident throughout. Her stories were translated in different languages. She lives in southwest England with her three children, two dogs and two cats.

For this book Skip through Seasons, it portrays about a journey around the year that includes objects and things and events that happen in each month. For most of each month of the year, there is also an action word that begins with the same letter as that month. For example:

Jump – for January

Fly – for February

Move – for May

Jive – for July

Slide -for September

Dance – for December

The other six months of the year that does not begin with an action word that begins with the same letter. However, these months still incorporates movements and actions that somehow relates to what is going on for these months. Examples are:

Whirl – for March

Splash -for April

Race – for June

Sail – for August

Twirl – for October

Sweep – for November

What I like about this book is at the bottom part of each page, it displays several words that are commonly used for each month. This is very useful when teachers and parents are introducing key words to children that are related to a festivities for the month. The words are supported by the pictures that are drawn for each page. There are many activities that you could use this book for including (let’s take for example you are introducing the month of December) :

1. asking where the picture of a candy cane,

2. asking which among the set of words is a ‘candy cane’,

3. naming 3 objects that they see on the page that are commonly used during the season,

4. naming the 12 months of the year,

5. the different seasons of the year, movements,

6. words that begin with the same letter as the name of the month and

7. rhyming words! (at the end of each phrase it says – come along  with me! – and on the other page it ends with – what can you see? -)

The teachers can also laminate the words for a particular season for their word wall say summer –

For June – the words are (scooter, thermos, picnic blanket, basket, butterfly, swing, skateboard, bread, bicycle, bananas, cooler, picnic bench)

For July – the words are (juggler, dolls, bumper cars, ice cream stand, cotton candy, carousel, balloons, flags, ticket booth, ferris wheel, moon)

For August – the words are (sailboats, shovel, fisherman, crab, beach ball, sunglasses, pails, seagull, hammock, surfboard, sandcastles, flippers)

If I were still an early childhood teacher, this book would definitely be an all-year-round sight in my class’s library. They can build their vocabulary throughout the year with the pictures and the sight words that are included in each of the pages. What is also great is that, this book targets every topic that has to do with seasons even weather. This is worth having a multiple copies for yourself!



My Daddy is a Pretzel – a Barefoot Book review

 My Daddy is a Pretzel

Written by: Baron Baptiste
Illustrated by: Sophie Fatus

Read Alone: Ages 4-9
Read Together: Ages 0-4
Hardcover; Jacketed, Full-color illustrations; 48pp;

8.75 x 11 inches 

I can honestly say that this is one of my most favorite Barefoot Books ever! It combines what I would like to see for the perfect yoga book for children – thus, this makes it the PERFECT book to introduce children to yoga. This is also a great book for teachers who would like to introduce the different occupations or work that parents do! 

The Introduction part of the book is very sincere. The author Baron Baptiste really showed how caring and how dedicated he is in bringing the right kind of discipline to his children as well to other children in the form of yoga. He made yoga a more enjoyable, and not frightful to most kids by interconnecting what profession a parent has. An example of which is the page below:

In this page, the mother is a gardener…on the other hand the dad is sometimes a tree. From this, the author builds on an occupation to a yoga position that is related to the occupation of being a gardener, thus the TREE position comes up.


In this page, it guides the reader from the first step to attaining this position to the final step. What I love about this YOGA pose page is that, throughout the book the author explains as to what this particular pose teaches us in our daily lives (i.e. Tree Pose teaches us to support ourselves) and then moves to the reason why we need to learn this lesson. For the Tree Pose, “so that we can reach high and remain stable, yet be flexible.”

I love the lessons/sayings from these YOGA pose pages. Here are some of the sayings I find very inspiring, even for young children:

1. “….and as with anything practice makes progress”

2. “Triangles have 3 sides and 3 angles – just as we have 3 aspects: mind, body and spirit”

3.”If we plow well, we can sow well, and then reap the rewards of what we have planted.”


4. from the Fish pose…”Don’t struggle upstream, jump in and just go with the flow, even in turbulent times.”

This book also presented a lot of diversity. The parents and the children that are illustrated are of different nationalities – and the diversity of work from a gardener, to a marine biologist, to a builder and then too a baker, it is just an amazing book! And of course, these poses can be enlarged if you are a teacher wanting to teach a step-by-step way of a certain pose. 

– Alpha

“If you would like to purchase this book, please visithttp://philippines.mybarefootbooks.com “