Reading to our children everyday and helping them develop a love of the written word is one of the many important duties of parenting. All too often though, I am not very happy with the selection of children's books I come across. Either the story is very weak and is not well written, or the book just doesn't seem to capture my daughter's imagination and attention.
Thankfully, I've discovered a company called Barefoot Books, which has the most interesting and unique stories for children. They handpicked three selections for me to review with Riley which were perfect for her age.
Bear About Town by Stella Blackstone, which retails for $6.99
I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis, which retails for $16.99
Up, Up, Up! (with singalong CD) by Susan Reed, which retails for $16.99
As I've mentioned before, I haven't been too impressed with many children's books so far. We read to Riley every day and make many trips to the local bookstore for new material, yet the selections, in my opinion, are lacking. Most of the children's stories I've seen seem like they were thrown together in about 15 minutes and the stories are either super simple and lack imagination or don't make much sense to begin with.
This is why receiving these selected Barefoot Books was such a breath of fresh air! I couldn't get over how colorful and interesting all of the illustrations were in all three books. Riley really enjoyed looking at the pictures while I read her these stories and she didn't want me to turn the page because there were so many things that she knew and wanted to point out to me.
For instance, in the Bear About Town book, she pointed out the brightly colored bees, sun, trees, dogs, birds, etc. on each page. I could tell an immediate difference at how well the Barefoot Books seemed to capture her imagination and her attention at the same time as compared to other books we read to her.
The stories of all three books were also so well written and interesting. For example, in the book I Took the Moon for a Walk, the boy imaginatively and eloquently describes his nighttime adventure with the moon. Here's a passage from this story: "And the Moon called the dew so the grass seemed to weep". Now that's a story that was crafted by a storyteller, not simply thrown together by just anyone and passed off as children's literature.
Finally, the book Up! Up! Up! utilizes the sing-song pattern of telling a story to make it fun and exciting for young children. This book even comes with an audio CD of the story sung by the author herself. As with all Barefoot Books, the illustrations are hard to look away from. The pictures are so lively, colorful and interesting that you just want to delve further and further into the book to see what happens next. In this particular story, most pages begin with the words "up, up, up".
I was reading this to Riley, who's 20 months old, she was following right along. After the story was over, she picked up the book again and began trying to "read" it back to us. The first thing she said after picking up that book was "up, up, up"! I guess she WAS listening very intently!
Although I was extremely impressed with Barefoot Books after reading the three books selected for Riley and me, I became absolutely sold on this company after browsing through their catalog. You couldn't believe the selection of wonderful children's books they carry! There are also so many stories and books which are culturally diverse and that explain people and traditions from around the world.
I've never come across titles such as, The Story of Divaali, Tales from Celtic Lands, and Tales of Wisdom and Wonder. I found while looking through the catalog that there was a myriad of titles that I was interested in MYSELF! I am so happy that there is a company like Barefoot Books which takes the entertainment and education of our children so seriously and does it so WELL! This, in my opinion, is exactly what children's literature should be.
Disclosure: I received three books from Barefoot Books in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my own personal experiences with this item and is completely honest and objective.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!