Friday, March 2, 2018

Tales from Old Ireland

There's a long and glorious tradition of oral storytelling in Ireland - starting with the bards who memorized and performed long poems and songs as a way of recounting historical events, to the Seanchai (shan-a-kay) who went from town to town telling stories, to the custom of kissing the Blarney Stone to receive the gift of gab  - so it's no accident that we have several books and story collections from the Emerald Isle.  Grab a few for St. Patrick's Day this month so you and your kids will be in the mood for Erin Go Braugh!

Tales from Old Ireland Meet larger-than-life characters  with this collection of 7 myths and legends, including the Irish version of Cinderella (Fair, Brown and Trembling).  Enchanting acrylic artwork by Dublin-based illustrator Niamh Sharkey brings the magic of each age-old tale to life.  Includes a pronunciation guide, an introduction by the author, and notes about the sources to make this collection just right for family or classroom story times or for independent reading.  Ages 6 and up.

The Faery's GiftIn this heartwarming Irish fairy tale, a woodcutter is given a wish as a reward for saving the life of a small faery. The woodcutter faces a dilemma: how can he use the wish in a way that will help all members of his family and change all of their lives for the better? Includes storytime CD read by actress Niamh Cusack and exquisite illustrations by Italian artist Nicoletta Ceccoli.  Ages 3 to 7 years

Cara and the Wizard Two Irish sisters love each other very much. When Molly vanishes one morning, Cara decides she will go out into the wide world to find her. She is armed only with gifts from her mother and father, and her own kindness and courage. Can brave Cara defeat a wolf and a wizard to bring back her beloved sister? (Spoiler alert: she does!) I always recommend this independent reader to kids who might be tired of passive female characters waiting to be rescued by a prince.  Ages 6 and up

The Barefoot Book of PiratesSet sail with seven piratical tales brimming with adventure in this collection drawn from sources around the world. From mysterious and spooky to friendly and funny, the tales emphasize the qualities of bravery, imagination and compassion. I included this book because one of the stories is about Pirate Grace - a woman pirate from Ireland! It also comes with a storytime CD.  For ages 4 to 9.

You might also like:

If your kids are a little younger and/or don't have the attention span for the longer stories in The Barefoot Book of Pirates, try Port Side Pirates instead. Everyone loves a good pirate song, and the end notes for this singalong book include a page on historical pirates - Pirate Grace from Ireland makes an appearance on this list too! For ages 3 to 7 years.

If you think the illustrations in Tales from Old Ireland are delightfully quirky and engaging, you will also love The Gigantic Turnip - a humorous retelling of a Russian tale that includes cumulative counting and a celebration of teamwork - and the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk which are both also illustrated by Niamh Sharkey. Both books come with story CDs and are for ages 3 to 7 years.

Finally, if you love the girl power message of Cara and the wizard...and you enjoy the story of The Twelve Wild Geese from Tales of Old Ireland...then you will love one of our newest books, Wild Swans.  This chapter book is a gorgeously illustrated and updated version of the Hans Christian Andersen story that is a version of the Irish story of The Twelve Wild Geese. For ages 6 and up

Monday, October 16, 2017

Introducing Mindful Kids

Are you looking for ways to incorporate mindfulness into your children's day? Introducing Mindful Kids from Barefoot Books! 

Easily adaptable for home or classroom use, these cards are structured to take all children, regardless of ability, through their whole day from morning to night with peace and inner strength.

Start the day strong

Has a child in your life woken up on the wrong side of the bed? Use the breathing and visualization activities to help them notice their mood and release any grumpy feelings or worries.

Calm your students

Help kids focus before a test with breathing exercises. Group and partner activities can help students resolve conflict, build friendships and boost other social emotional skills!

Overcome fears

Is a child nervous to try something new? Use these cards to help them practice replacing negative thoughts with positive, encouraging ones.  

Get ready for bed

Tame bedtime struggles with these fun activities! Once you've worked out the wiggles, help little ones slow down for sleep.

Research shows that practicing mindfulness increases focus and concentration, teaches children to self-regulate emotions and develops empathy, self-awareness and kindness.

Mindful Kids was written by an award-winning author and mindfulness expert, with input from early childhood development and inclusion specialists - it's perfect for everyone, from ages 4 to 104!

Looking for more ways to connect mind and body in a meaningful way? Try some of the resources here, including a free yoga activity download!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April is Autism Month

Barefoot Books is committed to giving back, and this month we are giving back to help empower kids on the autism spectrum.  Autism is important to us because it's important to so many of you - parents, teachers, therapists - so we are excited to add this special emphasis to our work this month!

Place an order in April, and Barefoot Books will donate one book for every $60 USD or $75 CAD that you spend - books will be donated to either Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) in the US or Autism Canada in Canada.  For more information about these organizations, and book recommendations from our community, go to our Autism Month 2017 page.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Diversity Toolbox

Do you want to help your kids embrace diversity and inclusivity but aren't sure how to get started? Sign up for our free discussion guide plus tips and activities that you can use to spark important conversations with your kids.

***Extra bonus - anyone who signs up for the Barefoot diversity toolbox before the end of March will receive a special discount code from me to save 25% on any order of any size placed during the first two weeks of April!***

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Introducing The Barefoot Book of Children

Have you heard the buzz about The Barefoot Book of Children? Everyone from UNICEF to School Library Journal to the inventor of the internet (no, really!) has proclaimed this book as a must-have for every child!

Check out the video Barefoot made to introduce our most diverse and inclusive book yet:

Want one for your own kids? Order here!

Want even more diverse and inclusive books? Go here!

Want to check out all of our new releases? Here you go!

Best of all...want to save 20% on your order of $60 or more? Shop here before March 31st, 2017 and use code LAUGHUS when you check out!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Spooky Stories and Spook Fun!

Happy Halloween!! 

Are you in the mood for some spooky stories from Barefoot Books?

Check out my recommendations below!

Let's start with our featured book - Tales of Mystery and Magic by master story teller Hugh Lupton.  These seven stories from around the world introduce children to the bewitching world of mystery and magic, and range from charming - the Seneca tale Winter and Summer explains the transition from winter to summer in the guise of a cold and grumpy old man and a warm and friendly old woman - to downright spooky - the Scottish story of The Strange Visitor features disembodied body parts that arrive one night to snatch an old woman from her home.  These stories are not for children who frighten easily, but are perfect for kids who love the thrill of being scared by a story.  Recommended for ages 6 to 10.  Read them out loud yourself, or enjoy Hugh Lupton's magical narration on the story CD.

For more magical stories from around the world, check out our Magic Stories independent reader series, which currently includes a story from Ireland and a story from Russia.  These stories are perfect for children ages 6 and up!

In Cara and the Wizard, two Irish sisters love each other very much - so when Molly vanishes one morning, Cara decides she will go out into the wide world to find her. She is armed only with gifts from her mother and father, and her own kindness and courage. Can brave Cara defeat a wolf and a wizard to bring back her beloved sister?

In Starlight Grey, after an old man dies, only his dreamy son Ivan is brave enough to keep vigil at his father’s grave. Ivan’s reward is the magical stallion Starlight Grey, which he keeps secret from his two greedy brothers. When the Russian king challenges all the young men in his kingdom to win the hand of his beautiful daughter, Ivan calls on the help of Starlight Grey.

Do you have a little monster-lover in your house?  Then our Monster Stories independent reader series is perfect for you.  Inspire young readers with these adventures that teach courage, compassion and kindness. Meeting monsters on the page helps children realize that many of the scary things in life are less frightening than they appear — and that monsters can have feelings too!

The storylines of these illustrated folktales from around the world are written in simple sentences to make them perfect first chapter books. 
Choose a story from Italy or South Africa, from Chile or Nepal, from Tahiti or North America...or buy all 6 at a special low price!  These are monster stories with happy endings, so children will experience the scary thrill of a good story and the satisfaction of knowing everything turns out fine in the end.  

Looking for more spooky fun?  Create monsters and magicians out of paper with this folding paper craft kit for ages 7 and up...

...or use strategy and problem-solving to mix a magic potion and stop the wizard in the cooperative board game Cauldron Quest...

...or make a monster mask with this craft activity based on our books...

...or serve Dracula's Gelatin to your kids with this spooky fun recipe for kid in the kitchen...

...or best of all, save 20% on everything you order today with the discount code FALL2015 - it expires at the end of the day on Halloween!