Tag Archives: Barefoot Books Review

Come Here, Cleo ~ A Barefoot Book Review

Come Here Cleo
Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Caroline Mockford
Read Alone: Ages 4-7
Read Together: Ages 0-4
Board Book; Full-color illustrations; 24pp;
6.5 x 6.5 inches

A board book that exemplifies minimalism at its finest! 
One sentence for each page.
One subject and one verb.
One thought throughout the whole book!
This book is about Cleo, the Cat and her movements in and around her surroundings. It is a catchy board book that is very easy to remember. From the moment Cleo wakes up to the time Cleo starts to play and bounce around the yard, every reader will absolutely remember the actions that Cleo, the Cat is doing throughout the book.
The illustrations perfectly fit the idea of minimalism.
Caroline Mockford’s brush strokes on watercolor are simple yet conveys a brilliant rendition of the main character Cleo, an orange-striped Cat. Her choice of colorful background on each sturdy page of the book, adds a more striking appeal to the young reader.
Great book for readers who are learning about simple action words!

To buy this book and get 10% off, go tohttp://www.barefootbooks101.com


Barefoot Books – a Review by Kim from ‘What’s That Smell?’

Kim, from Accidental Mommies wrote a wonderful review about the Barefoot Books and about the book, “Off we go to Mexico”. You can view the whole entry by clicking on the link below


or you can read the post here:



Barefoot Books – a review

barefoot books


What is Barefoot Books?
From their site:

This is what we care about: first, we’re convinced that it’s never too early to introduce children to other cultures. We believe too that children can appreciate high-quality art, and enjoy the music as well as the meaning of language from a very early age. They deserve the very best, and they are dependent on their elders to help them make connections — between themselves and others, between nature and culture, between learning and living.

So we create books, CDs and other gifts that offer high educational value and are lots of fun. They’re designed to last, but above all, they are meant to be shared and enjoyed.

I was sent a Barefoot Book to review called Off We Go to Mexico! An Adventure in the Sun by Laurie Krebs and Christopher Corr.

Our take on a Barefoot Book:

I have to admit that when i first opened the book and looked through it, I wondered if my son, who is 4 would be interested in it considering there are Spanish words and he’s just started mastering the English words. My concerns were quickly put to rest, however, as we started reading it.

Barefoot Books

The book is laid out in a way that when you have the book open to any particular set of pages, the page on the left has a series of words with their Spanish translations and the page on the right has the continuing story that uses the words from the left page. We started out with Jake reading all the English and me reading all the Spanish. He really enjoyed the story and spent a lot of time looking at the pictures saying “look, she’s got a baby” or “hey, a fruit hat!”

Barefoot Books

About halfway through he wanted to switch with me and had me reading the English parts and he read the Spanish parts. He was really getting a kick out of it and was very patient when I tried to get him to pronounce everything right – or at least as right as this non-Spanish speaking person could!

The end of the book has a map and some information about Mexico today and its history. He was very interested in the map and its relationship to the USA. Even after I got up to take care of my daughter, he was still going back through the book looking at the pictures and every once in a while repeating some of the Spanish words.

Overall I am very impressed with the Barefoot Book we received and am going back to the site to look for more. It certainly inspired more interest from my son than other books have and I really like that it will promote in him an appreciation for other cultures and instill some additional language skills in him early on, when he is soaking up so much information. Both the art and the story in Off We go To Mexico! are captivating and this book is sure to be on his shelf for many years. It certainly spans a wide age range with its bright and colorful images, the story, and the history and information about Mexico in the back of the book.

If you are interested in Barefoot Books and their award winning children’s books and would like more information or to purchase them, you can visit their website:Barefoot Books and check out all the other wonderful books they have to offer. You can also visit the Barefoot Books Blog for information about their books and special offers. In addition to books, Barefoot Books carries CD’s and educational gifts designed around the same values as their books.

The Barefoot Books opportunity:
barefoot booksAnother interesting aspect of Barefoot Books is the ability for anyone looking for a work from home opportunity to sell Barefoot Books by becoming a Barefoot Books Stallholder. For more information about how to become a Stallholder and to register for FREE, visit this page: Sell Barefoot.

Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Start your own creative business with low start-up and running costs. Experience not necessary!
  • Sell in homes and your local community (online or offline), and create a community of customers who also love Barefoot and share our values
  • Give back to your community by fundraising for the school or organization of your choice
  • Earn immediately with upfront discounts, free products, monthly bonuses and fantastic special offers
  • Enjoy prizes, incentives, workshops and get-togethers… and simply doing something you love
  • Mentor other Stallholders and create your own Barefoot community
  • Embrace creativity and bring something a little different to traditional book-selling from storytelling and craft activities to children’s art and writing competitions, the Stallholder program allows you to explore your own creativity and create a community buzz!

Whether you are interested in the books, the business opportunity, or both, I recommend that you visit their site and see all their wonderful books! And if you and your children already enjoy Barefoot Books, I’d love to read your comments about them!

Mother Goose Remembers by Clare Beaton (Barefoot Book Review)


Mother Goose Remembers
Compiled and Illustrated by: Clare Beaton  

Read Alone: Ages 4-7
Read Together: Ages 0-4
Hardcover with CD; Full-color illustrations; 64pp;
9 x 10.25 inches
Awards and Honors:

NCSS–CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2000
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book of the Year, 2001
Society of Illustrators Original Art Exhibition, 2000

Recent praise:

“Beaton stitches and appliques her way through 46 nursery rhymes, including a few less familiar treasures…. She exquisitely and inventively crafts each picture from felt, antique fabrics and bric-a-brac. In “I Had a Little Nut Tree,’ for example, the tree is made from eyelet fabric and dotted with tiny wooden beads. Beaton’s work evokes the cozy domesticity and unhurried days of a bygone era, and many adults may find it refreshing to find a Mother Goose untainted by zingy modern ironies.” – Publishers Weekly

Book Review:

This book is a compilation of 46 popular nursery rhymes with unique hand-sewn illustrations by Clare Beaton. Her illustration technique is so distinctive you would think it is a real 3-d hand-sewn book! Her artwork consists of antique fabrics, old jewelry, threads, bric-a-brac, laces, and other stuffs put together to form a collage! Her rendition of these nursery rhymes in a collage and not in ink gives the child the longing to touch them. Look at this nursery rhyme from her book and tell me if you do not think you would like to touch them as well. Look closer, even closer…

A partial list of the nursery rhymes compiled in this book are the following:

Humpty Dumpty – page 9

The Grand Old Duke of York – page 10

To Market, To Market – page 17

The Woman who lived in a shoe

Sing a Song of Sixpence – page 20

This Little Pig Went to Market – page 22

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep – page 25

Ring Around the Roses – page 27

Little Bo Peep – page 29

Little Miss Muffet – page 33

Rock-a-Bye Baby – page 34

Jack Be Nimble – page 57 (my all time favorite – I can still memorize it: Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be quick, Jack jump over the candle stick!)

Hey Diddle Diddle – page 58 –


I highly recommend this book for the new mothers, and pregnant women who would like to learn the many nursery rhymes that babies would like to listen to. Also, this book is a great gift for baby showers – especially that this book comes with a CD plus an introduction from one of the Barefoot books publishers, Tessa Strickland explaining about the significance of Mother Goose and where did it originate. I learned from her Introduction that a mother goose is a carrier of the great Hindu goddess Sarawasti, the goddess of learning language, music and arts.

– Alpha


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!



Elephant Dance (Memories of India) – a Barefoot Book review

 Elephant Dance

Written by: Theresa Heine
Illustrated by: Shiela Moxley

Read Alone: Ages 6-10
Read Together: Ages 4-8
Hardcover; Jacketed; Full-color illustrations; 40pp;
8.75 x 10.5 inches

 “Thank God for Granparents!” – this is we, parents usually say whenever our children ask us somethings that only grandparents can answer. i remember when I was a little child, I used to ask questions about how my grandfather lived during World War II and during the Martial Law times (in the Philippines). He would tell me in details exactly and vividly as how he could remember all his experiences both in his community as a leader, a father and an officer of the Philippine Air Force. How I used to like hearing all of his stories and gave me more insights about how he and his family lived during those times. There is nothing like hearing all these memories first-hand – it is a treasure that is passed on from his generation to mine and pretty soon, to my daughter. 

This theme of grandfather-grandchild is very evident throughout the day. Ravi, the main character of the story bombards with his grandfather with questions about India. And as I read through the book, I get acquainted about living in India – such as the map of India is shaped like the ear of the elephant (thus, the title of the book is from), the geography of India, the seasons of India – cold weather, dry/hot weather and moonsoon rains -,the religion and their culture.

Speaking of the seasons of India, I like the part when Ravi asked his grandfather if it ever snows in India. This made me laughed as I read this part, because when I was little I also used to wonder, “does it ever rain in other parts of the world?”, “does it ever gets hot across the Pacific?” – and this part of the book reinforces the answers to most of the intriguing questions that children have about the changing seasons of the world. I also like the way the grandfather uses analogy to describe the things that Ravi asks him.

I adore the way the grandfather describes a rainbow in India to Ravi and he said,

“A rainbow in India Ravi beta is seven saris hung across the sky to dry,

red as the watermelon,

orange as lentils,

yellow as saffron,

green as parakeet,

blue as kingfisher,

indigo as the deep ocean,

violet as the storm sky,

before the thunder growls.”

Throughout the book, the grandfather continues to use this similar analogy to explain to Ravi how things are different in India. I think this is a great strategy for children to absorb memories by associating things to things that are familiar to them and things that are colorful and full of live description. In addition to that the grandfather makes sure that the culture of India is also added in how he explains things to Ravi, whether it could be an Indian flower, the Indian Divaali festival, the spices, the food, the himalayans or the clothing, Ravi’s grandfather truly exalts in using these common Indian words.

The book also incorporates a lot of Indian spices. In fact, in the middle of the book, the family of Ravi needed to cook for supper time. This part reflects the Indian family tradition of preparing food and the use of Indian spices such as daal, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, coriander and cumin. Each member of the family is described as having a task to do in preparation of supper. Ravi set the table and his sister Anjali fetched the rice.

The story ends with Ravi going to sleep and before he went to bed, he asked his grandfather, “do you love me grandfather?” and his grandfather used the same strategy of answering this question by saying,

“you are as warm as a newborn kid,

as soft as a frangipani blossom,

as sweet as the juice of the mango

and I love you very much.”

I can also say that this book will be great as gifts to grandparents on their special day and writing a note to them by saying how informative they are to us, in many ways than they could ever think of.

– Alpha

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


Barefoot Books Summer Sale up to 80% off

Starting June 2, 2008 until July 15, 2008, Barefoot Books will have the Summer Storytelling Sale which gives the customers a chance to buy great book with up to 80% off the regular price. Some of the titles included for the sale are are following:

1. The whole world mini

2. Motherbridge of Love

3. My Daddy is a Pretzel



Get them now… Remember the sale ends on July 15, 2008! Get them at http://www.barefootbooks101.com

Thank you! 

– Alpha

The Great Race (The Story of the Chinese Zodiac) – book review

 The Great Race

Written by: Dawn Casey
Illustrated by: Anne Wilson

Read Alone: Ages 6-10
Read Together: Ages 4-8
Hardcover; Jacketed; Full-color illustrations; 32pp;
8.25 x 10.75 inches

Ever wondered why the names of animals are used in the Chinese zodiac? Ever wondered too how come there is NO cat in the Chinese zodiac? This book tells it all in a playful, colorful and easy-to-remember story.

The story starts with the Jade Emperor hosting a race to start a calendar and name each year after a different animal. He had announced that whoever will finish a swimming race across a wide river first will be declared the first animal sign of the calendar. The oder of how the animals will arrive, will be used for the order of the chinese calendar.

During that time the rat and the cat were the best of friends. However, near the end of the race, the rat pushed over the cat down the river so the rat could jump to the finish line and win the race. The cat who hates the water tried very hard to get out of the water but just couldn’t make it to the shore. This is the reason why there is NO cat in the chinese calendar. This is also the reason why up to this day, the cat and the rat are the worst of enemies. 

The rat won the race and as the Jade Emperor said, “Rat may be small but he is also smart!”! The other animals who came after rat were in the following order:

2nd: ox

3rd: tiger

4th: Hare

5th: dragon

6th: horse

7th: snake

8th: sheep

9th: monkey

10th: cockerel

11th: dog

12th: pig

Reading this book to my daughter is like learning a new lesson for me. I was like, “huh, now that is the reason why…?”. I really enjoyed the book as much as my daughter did. Although she can not associate the meanings of the story behind the book, i could tell based from her attentiveness and interest with the book, that this captured her as well.

But what I love about this book is at the very end of it there are two pages devoted to the characters of the 12 animals included in the chinese calendar with the corresponding years that these animals represent. For the fun of it, check your animal sign and see if the characters of these animals are similar to yours:

Rats – are clever, ambitious and quick-witted.

Ox – are honest, patient and hardworking.

Tiger – are brave, powerful and daring.

Hare – are lucky, kind and peaceful.

Dragon – are powerful, strong and energetic.

Snake – are calm, wise and elegant.

Horse – are popular, independent and fun.

Sheep – are artistic, loving and tender-hearted.

Money – are happy, confident and enthusiastic

Cockerel – are adventurous, kind and hardworking.

Dog – are loyal, affectionate and generous.

Pig – are noble, helpful and forgiving


– Alpha Sanford

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