Celebrate Earth Day 2015 with us – and your children – on April 22nd!

We only get one planet and it’s important to us that we treat Earth with the respect and care it deserves. We practice environmentally and socially conscious business and printing practices to personally reduce our footprint on the environment and we’ve found that practicing sustainability as a company promotes practicing sustainability individually.

The same can be true for your family! We create books that promote a culture of sustainability, green living, and a consciousness of our impact on the environment. It’s important to teach kids how they can help the planet – and these books can help. Here are our suggestions for some of our top books to share with your little ones on this important day:

Whole World

This book, accompanied by a sing along CD, reimagines the classic children’s song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and contextualizes it for a modern, global audience. After reading this book, your children will feel inspired knowing that all people from all walks of life across the globe care for the environment together. We believe that it’s important to show that all cultures and people are equally invested in protecting the environment. (Buy: North America / Europe)

What’s This? A Seed’s Story

What’s more poignant than a young girl stumbling upon a seed, helping it grow throughout all of spring, and then sharing the seeds with her classmates so they can all plant sunflowers together the following spring? What’s This? will teach the values of patience and generosity just in time for children to start planting their own flowers! (Buy: North America / Europe)

The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales

To inspire children to care about the environment, it’s incredibly important to introduce them to Earth as a friend. As with any friendships, telling stories is how friendships grow. Earth Tales introduces children to many different myths and legends surrounding the creation of Earth and why things are the way they are. From Wales to Kazakhstan, many cultures are featured in this wonderful anthology of stories.
(Buy: North America / Europe)

Want to take your education a bit further? Consider doing one of these activities afterwards:

1. Skip the drive and instead walk to school, the grocery store, or the park

2. Have your child identify the recycling symbol on containers in your home and make a game out of putting them in your recycling bin

3. Plant a seed and watch as it grows – soon you’ll be able to plant it in the ground outside

4. Make signs to remind family members to turn off lights or the faucet when not in use

No matter how you choose to celebrate, teaching kids about Earth Day will be fun, educational, and a chance to make an impact on our planet. Show us how you are celebrating! Share your photos with us on our Barefoot Books Facebook page!


2 April, 2015 is International Children’s Book Day! Usually around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, International Children’s Book Day celebrates children’s books to inspire a love of reading and also to call attention to the power of children’s storytelling. It’s no surprise that Hans Christian Andersen, the author of many fairy tales that’ve been adapted and transformed into modern children’s stories, gets the spotlight on this day.

Fairy tales have always had a special place in children’s literature. As critically acclaimed author Neil Gaiman said, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” These stories—whether it’s Cinderella or Hansel and Gretel—tell children that it’s okay to be who they are and that, in the end, everything will be okay. These stories have the unique ability to deeply inspire those who read them, which is why they’ve been adapted countless times as books, plays, and movies. Their messages are timeless and are always relevant when introduced to the next generation of children.

Barefoot is so dedicated to this that we have an entire book of fairy tales collected in The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales (NA/EU). We believe in the power of sharing fairy tales from all across the world to introduce our young readers to other cultures and experiences. We’ve collected tales from Germany, France, Ukraine, China, and more to highlight the most poignant stories we could find.

Share Your Favorite Fairy Tale

We want to share this International Children’s Book Day with you! Tell us what your favorite fairy tale is by commenting on this post or tweeting @BarefootBooks with the hashtag #MyFairyTale.

Help Us Spread The Word

If you’re celebrating the day with a child, be sure to share our International Children’s Book Day pledge! You can find the image here.


After a long, cold winter, I’m ready to curl up with some summery reading. I’m sure you are too! So I’m very pleased to introduce you to our latest title for the season, Daddy Island (US|UK).

Daddy Island, originally published by Barefoot Books in 2001, is back in a gorgeous paperback edition due to popular demand from our community. The text invites young ones to pretend their daddy is an island, while they imagine themselves to be a noisy storm, a tall tree, the quiet sand and more. This book is more than a story to share together — it’s an invitation for physical play between parent and child. Children love to pretend to be a crab scuttling across the sand or a bird soaring high above Daddy Island. My family really loves enjoying it all together — I read the text while my husband and daughter act out each scene together. 

 

South African illustrator Niki Daly brings his signature dreamy style to the watercolor-and-ink artwork. The result is a picture book that is full of movement, life and heart. 

 

With a beautiful matte finish and sturdy flaps, this paperback edition makes a handsome gift. It’s just right for enjoying together as the days grow warmer and longer — perfect for bringing along to the shore. 

 

If you’re looking for more books about fathers, you’ll enjoy the grocery store hijinks in Shopping with Dad (US|UK). For more fun family reading, check out My Big Barefoot Book of Words (US|UK). 

We hope you love this beautiful new edition of Daddy Island (US|UK)! Pick up your copy today.

Spring is upon us! What a perfect season to welcome our latest picture book, Millie’s Chickens (US|UK), into the flock!

The Beeman (US|UK) by Laurie Krebs and Valeria Cis has long been a springtime favorite here at Barefoot, with its engaging combination of lyrical text with in-depth information about beekeeping. So when we started seeing articles a few years ago about the growing popularity of backyard chicken raising, we knew we had the perfect topic for a companion to The Beeman. What could be more Barefoot than following food from the farm (or in this case, the backyard) to the table?

 

We approached Brenda Williams, author of Lin Yi’s Lantern (US|UK) and The Real Princess (US|UK), who dreamed up a young girl called Millie and the brood of chickens she cares for in her backyard in the suburbs. We love how the story emphasizes personal responsibility by showing Millie’s hard work and the rewards she reaps as a result.

 

 

We teamed up with The Beeman‘s Valeria Cis for the illustrations. Her quirky acrylic illustrations are just right for inviting a reader into the story. She did a fantastic job capturing the three chicken breeds we meet in the text and their sweet relationship with Millie. Barefoot super fans might remember this illustration from the beginning of the development of Millie’s Chickens — Valeria created a few different Millies for us to choose from, which we in turn shared with our community for feedback. That’s how Millie became a ginger! 

Budding scientists and animal lovers will especially enjoy the seven pages of facts about chickens and eggs at the end of the book. You can read about chicken breeds, chicken anatomy, and even find recipes for four different egg dishes! 

 

Be sure to pick up your copy of Millie’s Chickens (US|UK) today!

Now that the season has concluded both in the UK and in the US, are you already dreading Sunday nights without Downton Abbey? Then we have the perfect books for you to enjoy until the next season begins – and they’re perfect for reading with the kids!

Both The Prince’s Bedtime and The Prince’s Breakfast follow a young price who just loves saying no, whether it’s to heading to bed or eating a healthy breakfast. Every parent can relate to the endless ways the king and queen try to get the prince to behave!

But what does this have to do with Downton Abbey? Well, these humorous tales don’t just live on the page; they also spring to life on audio CDs narrated by Lord Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville! Hugh’s melodious voice adds even more joy and humor to these tales, and having Lord Grantham lull you and your family to sleep is the perfect way to end the weekend.

Pick up these titles today! US / UK

 


February 19 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the first day of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. But what exactly is the holiday for, and why is this the year of the sheep? Here are a few fun facts to share with your family about this ancient holiday!

  • Year of the Sheep: Each year of the calendar is represented by one of twelve animals who are said to have participated in an ancient race. 2015 is the year of the sheep, and babies born under the sign of the sheep are said to be calm, creative, persevering and honest.
  • Weeks of Celebrating: The celebrations for the Chinese New Year can last up to fifteen days, with different festivals, foods and moments of remembrance on each day. While some communities now celebrate the holiday in a shorter period of time, many still maintain the traditional calendar.
  • Delicious Food: Festive meals and foods are a big part of celebrating the Chinese New Year, and anyone celebrating will eat very well over the fifteen days! One such festival meal is a reunion dinner, Nian Ye Fan, where family members gather to celebrate the new year together. A traditionally large dinner, there are typically oodles of meat dishes, seafood, and a communal hot pot!
  • Fire Displays: Festivities are often marked with fireworks displays and the setting off of red-wrapped firecrackers. The burning of firecrackers signifies a happy and joyous time of year, and the booming sound is a welcome one at celebrations.

How will you celebrate this year?!

To learn more about the Chinese New Year, pick up a copy of The Great Race today (US / UK).


Mornings can be tough on children, so why not start the day on the right foot with a delicious and nutritious meal? Our recipe for Breakfast Friends is easy and fun to pull together and is sure to put smiles on sleepy faces!

What You Need:

  • 4 slices of thick, whole-grain bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Dried cranberries or raisins for eyes
  • Animal or gingerbread man shaped cookie cutters
  • Mixing bowl and damp cloth
  • Fork or whisk
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula

What To Do:

  1. Use your cookie cutter to stamp out some ‘friends’ from the bread
  2. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl.
  3. Put the damp cloth under your bowl to keep it place, and then whisk lightly with your fork or whisk.
  4. Add the yogurt and beat again.
  5. Beat in the honey and cinnamon.
  6. Dip the shapes, one at a time, into the eggy mixture.
  7. Heat a piece of butter in the frying pan and when it is hot, add some bread shapes. Cook each one for 1-2 minutes and then flip to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden. Add more butter as needed and add the dried fruit for eyes once you remove the bread from the pan.

So easy, and so yummy to make, you’re going to want to make these every week! As an added bonus, older kids can help with the preparation.

Keep an eye out for our new recipe deck Kids Kitchen later this year for more fun recipes.

To view the UK recipe, click here!


In the depths of winter, add some crafting fun with an easy to make but sure to please pine cone bird feeder! This feeder is not only fun to create, but useful too. After you’re finished, your child can select the perfect place to hang it outside to help feed wild birds in the wintertime. Read on for instructions:

What to Get:

One large, open pine cone / String / Peanut Butter / Oats / Birdseed / A shallow dish

What To Do:

  1. Loop the string under the top scales of the pine cone and tie it in a tight knot.
  2. Mix the peanut butter and the oats together in a bowl.
  3. Push the mixture into the pine cone, filling the spaces between the scales. Spread the mixture over the surface of the pine cone.
  4. Pour some birdseed into the shallow dish.
  5. Roll the pine cone in the birdseed until it is well covered.
  6. Hang the pine cone feeder in your garden for the birds to enjoy!

Now you can enjoy seeing a variety of birds getting a tasty snack thanks to your efforts! For more fun activities, shop The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales: US / UK.

Download a copy of these craft instructions here!


With 2015 now off and running, we’re willing to bet that many a well-intentioned New Year’s resolution has already fallen by the wayside. So why not try to make some resolutions that will last through the year, and can be done with the support of your family too? Here are our top five resolutions for the family:

  • Learn Something New: When you think about it, we’re learning new things all the time, so this resolution is both educational and easy! Decide as a family something you’d all love to learn, and make a plan to give it a try together. Maybe you dedicate Tuesday nights to learning how to knit, or decide to take cooking lessons together. The possibilities are endless!
  • Cook a Meal Together: The pressure is on at the start of the year to eat well and make healthy choices, so make it fun by cooking a meal together! Children can work on appetizers and desserts, while adults handle the main dishes. Plus, by spending a night in rather than eating out, you’ll save pennies and calories.
  • Sleep In: The benefits of a good night’s sleep are well-documented, but in today’s busy times, we’re more likely than ever to forgo that which helps us most! Take the time to sleep in when you can this year, whether it’s an extra hour on the weekends or a few extra minutes after your alarm buzzes in the morning. Your body (and your teenagers) will thank you!
  • Give Back: Take some time this year to give back to your community. Getting the entire family involved is easy with the many options out there for volunteering. Not only is this resolution something you can feel good about, but it sets an example for your children and connects you to your community in ways you won’t have experienced before.
  • Read a Good Book: Our favorite resolution of course! Family storytimes are fun, simple and easy to get into the habit of doing. Get started tonight by picking a few of your favorites off the shelf. This resolution guarantees many nights of precious memories and sweet dreams!

What resolutions will you keep this year?


Starting your own home-based business is not a simple decision, but if you have been on the fence about taking a closer look at our Ambassador Opportunity, we promise now is the time to join!

Why now? Check out our top 5 reasons to become an Ambassador today:

  1. We are having a special, exclusive, only-time-this-year, Starter Kit sale! For a limited time, you can sign up to become an Ambassador for only $99.99/£64.99 (originally $139.99/£89.99) and receive $300/£200 worth of beautiful books and gifts to launch your business!  Want more?  You also receive amazing business tools, resources, support and training for FREE!

  2. With our New Year, New You sales challenge you can earn back $50/£30 CASH simply by achieving $1000/£600** in personal qualifying volume, or sales by the end of February.  Sign up now, and that gives you almost two full months to hold events and to earn a $50/£30 bonus, essentially making your business start up costs only $49/£34! **NOTE: an email was sent 20 January with the incorrect figure of $600/£400 to earn the cash bonus.  The correct amount is $1000/£600.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

  3. One of the best things about becoming an Ambassador is that you can build your business to suit your lifestyle and your family’s needs.  Whether you are looking to make this opportunity a chance to get out and network as a full-time career, or looking for a way to spend time with your family and learn from the business together, we provide various business options and all of the support you will need to assist you in achieving your goals!

  4. It’s January, and let’s face it, it’s cold outside!  We are finished making our resolutions, and we’re looking for things to do to keep busy and prevent cabin fever during the winter months. This is the perfect time to launch your business because you will have plenty of eager hosts chomping at the bit to hold Barefoot Books parties at their homes!  You can have parties for just adults, or kid-friendly parties with crafts and games.  You will hit your sales goals in no time.

  5. Lastly, and most importantly, becoming an Ambassador is a business opportunity you can feel great about.  Our mission is to share stories, connect families and inspire children.  When you become an Ambassador you share beautiful, educational, and diverse books and products with your community and in doing so, nurturing a love of storytelling and creativity in families. What could be better?

We hope that you will join us on our Barefoot journey!  Our Starter Kit sale ends 2 February, so don’t hesitate!

Learn more>>