I had the great pleasure recently to get five children’s books from the Barefoot Books collection. I have to say that these books are truly amazing. I was incredibly impressed.
When the books came in the mail my kids and I spent the next three hours reading, talking about what we read, singing, and dancing. They were as thrilled with the books as I was and so Barefoot Books has just gained three dedicated customers.
The company behind the books was started in 1993. They had a vision to start a book company that would publish books that would introduce children to other cultures and reach them through art and music. I just love what is says about their view of children on their web site, “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. Our products are intended to act as springboards for children’s hearts and minds, helping them to express themselves with confidence and integrity, and to explore the world in new ways.”
That sounds like a tall order for a book but they succeed.
In addition to making great books they as mothers are also keenly interested in the kind of world our children will inherit and they have taken many steps to serve environmental causes. Their business is a green operation from the printing on forest friendly paper sources to using recycled materials in offices. Portions of the profit from their book also go to benefit global conservation. It is encouraging that a children’s book publisher would also have such an interest in preserving the world that our children will inherit one day.
Let me just briefly tell you about each of the books we read….
Whole World – This delightful book comes with a music CD and it follows the popular children’s song The Whole World. Sing around the planet, from high in the mountains to low in the valleys, in every town and every city, and with all the fish and birds, trees and flowers! The book includes a section at the back that has eco-tips for reducing our contribution to Global Warming. My kids just loved the CD and all of the beautiful pictures. (The top picture is from this book)
What’s This – Seed’s Story – A small girl discovers how a tiny seed gradually grows into a beautiful sunflower, and how the sunflower makes new seeds for the following year. It is a great book for kids that love to garden or for parents who are trying to instill a love for growing things in their children.
Skip Through the Seasons – I think this book may have been my children’s favorite. Whirl through the months of the year in this action packed seek-and-find book that takes young readers on an outdoor adventure as the months pass by. The detailed pictures offer a wide variety of items to spot, while also teaching the changes that happen in nature as the year turns. Each month has its own page and at the end of the text it always asks “What do you see?” So it is a great book for encouraging discussion. It was also very artfully illustrated so it is no wonder that my kids ask me to read this to them often.
The Boy Who Grew Flowers – Rink’s grandmother was raised by wolves, his Uncle Dud tames rattlesnakes, and Rink grows beautiful flowers all over his body when the moon is full. Townspeople just don’t understand the Bowagons. But one day a new girl named Angelica arrives at Rink’s school, and he soon discovers she has some unique qualities too.
Using humor and metaphor to promote acceptance, this touching story shows us that what makes us different makes us beautiful. What a great story!
A Forest of Stories – This was my personal favorite as I am a BIG time tree lover…or hugger I might say. This book tells the story of seven magical trees from around the world including the Kapok tree, the Cherry Blossom tree, and the Palm tree. These trees were around long before man and in a sense are our living ancestors. We have a relationship with them now that is strikingly unfair as we accept from them a multitude of gifts and we often give nothing in return. It goes on to show us all of the gifts that trees give us and why they should have a special place in our lives and hearts.
I just can’t say enough good things about these books! The stories are great, the artwork is truly amazing, the lessons are important, the people behind the company are amiable, and the company dedication to ethics, culture, and environment make Barefoot Books a big winner in my book!
Thursday, August 16th, 2007