Tag Archives: barefoot books reviews

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.

July Giveaway Winner

And the winner for the June Giveaway is….drum roll please…


To the winner: Please respond to the email that was sent to you within 72 hours to claim your prize.

To all of you who participated in this giveaway:  Thank you so much for your time and effort.


Please stay tuned for OUR NEXT GIVEAWAY.

June Giveaway!!!!




If you would like to win a copy of this book, please leave me a COMMENT on this post, stating which of the books that I have reviewed is the best. Include a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. The deadline for the entry is July 11th. The winner will be announced on July 15th!

If you are a blogger and would like to share this contest on your blog please feel free to share this.

Thank you!

I will be doing a series of giveaways throughout the year.  Please leave me a message if you would like me to sponsor a giveaway in your blog. Email: barefootbooks101@yahoo.com




Bear Series – BEAR ABOUT TOWN (Board Book Review)

Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Debbie Harter

When I signed up for the Barefoot Books Stallholder program, I was given a starter pack that contains all of the Barefoot Books Best Sellers of all Time. One of them, is this board book (but also comes in Paper Back Edition), BEAR ABOUT TOWN.

Just like my previous post about BEAR IN A SQUARE, the main character that the author Stella Blackstone puts in the spotlight is the BEAR. To give a more detailed look of the bear, I will try to describe to you how the bear looks like: The bear in this book is portrayed as friendly, engaging and always on the go. The bear has a smooth and even skin tone that appears clean and inviting. The bear does not look scary at all. In fact to me, it does not give the impression that he will growl and give the reader a look that says, “Go away!”. This bear looks huggable and throughout this series, the bear seems to be smiling even though the mouth is not visible because it is hidden under the bear’s nose.
Each page of the book contains the same language format as the previous Bear book, which is simple, direct and one-sentence per page. In this book, the Bear goes to different locations in the local geography introducing places in the neighborhood such as the bakery, the swimming pool, cinema, gym, toyshop and the park. As the Bear goes around these neighborhood locations, the days of the week are also introduced. Each day of the week, the Bear visits one area until Sunday comes, where the Bear’s activities are done. At the end of the book, there is a map which can also double up as a maze for an additional activity for the readers to do. 
Recommendations to use for:
1. introducing the DAYS OF THE WEEK
2. local geography
3. possible play time activities
4. identify things that are associated in a certain local destination


Bear Series – BEAR IN A SQUARE (Board Book Review)


Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Debbie Harter


This is one of the books that is included in the Bear Series that is written by Stella Blackstone (I believe there are six of them, and each of these books are also written in Spanish edition). I have seen four out of the six books in this series and each one of them is phenomenal. The four books that I have seen and read to my daughter are the following: Bear in Sunshine, Bear about Town, Bear’s Busy Family and Bear in a Square.

I remember the very first Bear Series that I read – and I saw it in my doctor’s office waiting room! I honestly got hooked on it for my daughter and wanted too buy the full series for her!  That particular book was “Bear in a Square”, which happened to be my daughter’s most-wanted book this week.

I can see why it is her favorite of the week. First, the words in each page are simple and direct. Each page asks the reader to be interactive with the text as well as the pictures. It asks the reader to find the particular shape that is hidden in the page. For her age, one direct sentence to learn and identify shapes is all that she needs to learn the concept of shapes. There are exactly 10 different shapes that are presented on this book. It goes in the order of: square, heart, circle, rectangle, moon shape, triangle, diamond, zigzag, oval and star.

Secondly, I think she is fascinated with the bold and fantastic colors that are embodied in each of the pages. The BEAR in the book is always present in all the pages as part of the search. Not only that but the scenes where the shapes are hidden are diverse. An example is, “Find the hearts in the queen’s hair” and the scene on this page is a castle with a vivid picture of a queen with two hearts on her hair. Other scenes that are used are the school, the pool, the sea and the cave.

This book can be used in so many different ways. As the book progressed to different shapes, the number of shapes is also increasing. First there is only one square to find, then 2 hearts, then 3 circles…and so on until the last shape which is the star with the last number of 10. A child can easily identify what is also asked on the text, by checking on the right hand side of the book to see what shape is being asked for. A child can also self-correct himself as to the number of shapes that are present in each page by looking and comparing the number of the shapes on the right hand side to the number of shapes the child has identified.

What I like about this book is that my daughter really sits down until the end of the book and gets to enjoy each page of the book. I guess, what goes in her mind is that the pictures are so real, they are almost “touchable” to the eye. 



Barefoot Books MUSIC CDs

I just love the fact that Barefoot Books has thought of incorporating diverse music from around the world in collaborating with PUTUMAYO KIDS music. This just adds more spice to what one of the things that Barefoot Books promote, which is multiculturalism. Putumayo is a company that  introduces music in a more global manner by putting together music from other cultures that are upbeat and inspiring throughout the international community. Putumayo kids is one of the leading music company that is committed to bringing the global scene through music. They have been in the market since 1993 and envisions to grow more with their culturally authentic labels.

So, some of the music CDs that are included in the Barefoot Books catalogs are found below. The information that are written in each of the CDs were gathered from the PUTUMAYO KID’s site. Please feel free to read them and share your love of  music throughout the globe.



Item No. 9781587590801
Barefoot Partner: 
Putumayo World Music
Specifications: 5 x 5.5 inches

Running Time: 39:11


Sing Along With Putumayo includes entertaining and informative liner notes in English, Spanish and French, with song lyrics, artist biographies and Nicola Heindl’s distinctive colorful illustrations. The celebratory spirit of Sing Along With Putumayo will bring the whole family together.




Item No. 9781587590658
Barefoot Partner: Putumayo World Music
Specifications:5 x 5.5 inches   

Running Time: 40:30

African Playground is filled with great songs by artists from Senegal to South Africa, including a previously unreleased track by world music superstar Angelique Kidjo. Children and their families will love the upbeat rhythms and appealing melodies on this musical tour. Parents and educators will appreciate the accessibly presented cultural information and musical fun facts.

African Playground includes entertaining and informative multi-lingual liner notes, song lyrics, cultural information, a music glossary and colorful illustrations.

2004 ALA/ALSC Notable Recordings for Children Award
2003 Parents’ Choice Gold Award
“DiscoverySchool.com” 5-star Award of Excellence
NAPPA Gold Award 2003




Item No. 9781587592010
Barefoot Partner: 
Putumayo World Music
Specifications: 5 x 5.5 inches
Running Time: 37:01

Animal Playground is the latest release in the award-winning Playground CD series from Putumayo Kids. The new album presents a multilingual collection of animal-themed songs from around the world. The enhanced CD also includes an original music video for the song “No More Monkeys,” produced by Putumayo and shot on location in Trinidad featuring Trinidad-born artistAsheba


I will post other Barefoot Books Music CDs in my future write ups. In the meantime, this is it for now. Enjoy!