The tree is trimmed, Santa’s cookies are cooling on the counter, and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. You’ve made a list, but when you check it twice, you find you’re short one gift! Not to worry — we’ve got you covered with our favourite last-minute gift sets. You can get it there on time with expedited shipping, still available until 19 December!
1. Dinosaur Dreams Gift Set: Perfect for the busy toddler in your life, this book and puzzle pair provide hours of interactive fun.
2. Opposites Gift Set: Help develop vocabulary with these bright and engaging board books that are pleasing to the eye and easy on your wallet.
3. Animal Boogie Gift Set: Shake, rattle and roll down to the Indian jungle with this bestselling singalong, then keep the fun going with its accompanying puzzle.
4. Greek Epic Gift Set: This combo of classic tales is a surefire gift for the adventurer in your life. The classic tales will stay with them for a lifetime!
5. Miss Clara Gift Set: The unforgettable paper sculpture illustrations of French artist Miss Clara make this trio of classic fairy tales totally unique.
Shop these gift sets now, before it’s too late!
As you light each candle of the menorah this Hanukkah season, gather the family together and curl up with a good Barefoot book. We’ve collected eight unique stories for each night of your Hanukkah celebration that exemplify the importance of family, acceptance and working together towards a better world.
The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales — “Elijah’s Wisdom”
The prophet Elijah rewards the good and punishes the bad, but not in the way you’d think! This tale encourages selflessness and generosity by reminding readers that anyone could potentially be a prophet in disguise.
The Boy Who Grew Flowers
Everyone in the Bowagon family is considered “different” by the townspeople, but after Rink Bowagon does something nice for new student Angelina, he finds out that he’s not so different after all. This Barefoot favourite encourages acceptance of one another’s unique — and sometimes quirky! — qualities.
The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales — “Challah in the Ark”
When Eliana decides to bake challah every Sabbath and leave it in the synagogue as a holy offering, her gesture means more than she knows. This beautiful story shows that gestures filled with love are never wasted.
The Barefoot Book of Mother & Daughter Tales — “Naomi and Ruth” (A Hebrew tale)
After Naomi loses family members during a terrible famine, her daughter-in-law Ruth promises to stay by her side, no matter what. Even when things look gloomiest, family always comes through.
Motherbridge of Love
This story celebrates the relationship between a child and her adoptive parent, and the different kinds of love her birth mother and adoptive mother give to her. Every family has love at its core.
The Girl with a Brave Heart: A Tale from Tehran
After performing a series of chores for her elderly neighbour, Shiraz is rewarded for her ability to see past people’s rough exteriors and into their hearts — but her nasty stepsister doesn’t have quite the same experience!
The Story Tree: Tales to Read Aloud — “The Blue Coat” (A Jewish tale)
Rambunctious young Tom continues to wear through the clothing his mother sews him, but she willingly reconstructs each garment with love rather than restricting his free-spirited ways.
The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales — “The Perfect Mistake”
When the king and his daughter discover a crack in their “perfect” diamond, they learn that imperfections in the world — and within ourselves — are what make life so special.
Shop these titles to share with your family this holiday season.
The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales: North America / Europe
The Boy Who Grew Flowers: North America / Europe
The Barefoot Book of Mother and Daughter Tales: North America only
Motherbridge of Love: North America / Europe
The Girl with a Brave Heart: North America / Europe
The Story Tree: North America / Europe
Explore our complete Holiday Gift Guide!
Wrapping a book is fairly straightforward, right? Fold up those corners and then you’re done. Well, at least that’s how you could do it, but who wouldn’t appreciate some extra fun wrapping this year? Check out our favourite ways to wrap up a good book for Christmas gift giving:
Give an Ornament: Add a little something extra to your book with an ornament for a tag! Purchase a flat ornament to lay on top, or get extra crafty and make your own using thick paper or cardboard.
Winter is truly here and with windy, stormy nights afoot, storytimes are cosier than ever! Get into the spirit of fireside time together with these five classic Barefoot titles:
1. Babushka: This Russian Christmas story speaks to a phenomenon we’re all too familiar with these days. As Babushka hurry-hurry-hurries, focusing on the little things, she almost misses the miraculous events going on all around her! Don’t make the same mistake! Take time out of your day to teach this valuable lesson to your children. (Buy: North America / Europe)
2. The Story Tree: This multicultural story anthology has a tale for every member of your family, from cheeky monkeys for your toddler to wise hens for the parents. The painted illustrations add extra warmth to the tales, and young and old eyes alike will delight at the colourful pages. (Buy: North America / Europe)
3. Listen, Listen: What’s that sound? It’s the seasons passing round! This rhyming book is a delight to read at any age, and the beautiful illustrations of the changing seasons will put you in the mood for a winter wonderland. (Buy: North America / Europe)
4. The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales: What better time of year to revisit the classics? Share the tales that you loved as a child with this refreshed collection that includes tales like Hansel and Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin. (Buy: North America / Europe)
5. The Animal Boogie: After getting your fill of storytime classics, shake things up with this bestselling singalong. The playful animals will have you dancing in no time, and the accompanying CD, which includes a video animation and an audio singalong, gives you so many ways to experience this gem. (Buy: North America / Europe)
Looking for even more storytime books? Give our Gift Guide a try!
Are you looking for a fun craft to create with your children this festive season? All you need is some felt, card, ribbon and glue to make these simple decorations in the shape of a bird, dreidel, star and tree.
. . . and all through the house, little feet scurried, quick as a mouse! What were they searching for at so late an hour? A book, of course! A book to share together.
It’s no secret we’re big fans of storytime, but with the holidays fast approaching, we’re especially excited for the storytimes the holidays bring. Many of us here at Barefoot Books have special holiday traditions centered around the sharing of books, not unlike the popular tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. Here are just a few of the storytimes we’ll be enjoying this season, and we hope they inspire you to start your own!
- Cailin’s Huggable Storytime: One sweet memory I have from childhood is how every time my brother and I snuggled up to our mom to read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, she couldn’t get through it without crying! My brother and I were fascinated by that — why would the thought of us growing up make her sad? We couldn’t wait to grow up! The storytime sessions always ended with lots of hugs — anything to cheer up my adorable, warm-hearted mother — and we’d hug and kiss until we were all laughing again.
- Stefanie’s Eight Nights of Stories: When I was growing up, my dad would read a wonderful collection of Hanukkah stories to my brother and me at bedtime on the nights of Hanukkah. The book is called The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah, and it’s written by the famous rabbi and author (and Nobel Prize winner), Isaac Bashevis Singer. I still have the book and still take it out at Hanukkah to read some of the stories.
- Debbie’s Christmas Box: I have a box of Christmas books that I put away each year with the decorations and get out again the following year. My boys are now ten and twelve, and it’s always a surprise to see how the books look so much ‘younger’ each year, reminding us of happy Christmases past. One of our favourites is Mary Murphy’s Little Owl and the Star, with its colourful illustrations that simply burst with sparkle and joy. As the curious Little Owl follows the star, he quietly watches the nativity story unfolding . . . and when the baby in the manger smiles at him, the ‘waiting feeling’ he has inside goes away — a lovely image that everyone who’s ever found their spiritual home, wherever that might be — can relate to.
- Cordie’s Santa: For the past several years my boyfriend Tyler has acted as our Global Santa at the Concord Studio. Each year he spends a day pulling everything together — his fur trimmed boots, white gloves, big red cape — and he practices reading aloud the story he’s chosen to read for the children that year. His favorite so far has been We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs; the kids loved counting along with him!
Create your own special memories this year and give the gift of time together with books from our Holiday Gift Guide!
It’s that time of year again! The 19th Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature is right around the corner. This year’s exhibit will be taking place at the Concord Museum in Concord, MA from 26 November 2014 through 4 January 2015, and will feature 38 trees, each uniquely decorated to represent a beloved children’s book. Each year, a different Barefoot Books illustrator is asked to bring their work to life by decorating a tree at the exhibit, and this year is no exception. Carole Hénaff is finding inspiration in her beautiful artwork from The Arabian Nights, and is hard at work creating a wonderful display for this year’s tree.
We were lucky enough to speak with Carole about her creative process. Here’s what she had to say about the opportunity to design a tree for the event:
After the preliminary sketch, I looked into the different kinds of materials they offer at the DIY shops in Barcelona. For these ornaments, I wanted to explore different mediums, as well as ways to combine them, in order to figure out how to best create each individual piece.
I used a variety of materials, including cardboard, paper mache, clay, polystyrene balls, acrylics, pen and translucent paint for the bird cages.
How is decorating a Christmas tree different from illustrating a book? How is it similar?
With books, the illustrator has more limitations. You have to take into account the text itself and that heavily influences the art. We choose size, background colour and layout to create a final product that people can read again and again.
On the tree, there is much more freedom to work. There is no text. The only thing to take into consideration is the weight of the ornaments and how they will look against the dark green of the tree. There is no beginning or end. The viewing will happen once and that’s it. There is something so transient about it, and I like that. As for similarities, the art itself stays true to the book illustrations.
I would say my favourite so far would be the red horse with the woman’s face; although, I also like the framed characters.
If you’re in the New England area this holiday season, be sure to stop by the museum and check out Carole’s tree. All proceeds go towards the museum’s education initiatives. We are also excited to announce that Carole will be stopping by our Concord Studio! Join us Friday 21 November at 10-11 am and Saturday 22 November at 3-4pm to get a behind-the-scenes look at the life of an illustrator. Enjoy a short reading from The Arabian Nights and a craft inspired by the book!
Kathryn White is the author of the beloved Ruby series, including Ruby’s School Walk, Ruby’s Sleepover, and Ruby’s Baby Brother. Kathryn recently attended a fabulous event that she just had to share with us!
I attended the launch of Reading Force Little Ones at the Aldershot Garrison in southeast England on October 22nd, which proved to be a great success.
Dr. Alison Baverstock, Founder and Director of Reading Force, worked alongside as puppeteer while I read some of my books, including Ruby’s School Walk, to preschool children. Barefoot Books generously donated books for the event, and Reading Force purchased further copies to give to service families both at home and abroad to share together. Every child was given a special Reading Force scrapbook too.
Reading Force is an initiative that helps families separated on duty both home and away to connect via book sharing. Through books, families are able to engage in stories and experiences such as Reading Force events, as well as enjoying the known benefits reading brings, like raising reading confidence. Reading Force is a growing force within the UK military community that is going from strength to strength. The charity is becoming a powerful tool for ensuring families stay close and connected, enjoying time together through the love of books.
It was such a pleasure to get involved with such a fantastic organization! How does your family use books to stay connected?
What does success mean to you? Here at Barefoot Books, we know success comes in many forms, and we love to recognize the achievements and milestones in our community. Here are just a few of the stories that have made our heart sing this year!
- Challenge Superstar: Every month we challenge our Ambassadors to go the extra mile in their businesses, and earn unique business tools and prizes along the way. This year, one Ambassador truly went to the next level by reaching the winners circle in not one, not two, but every single challenge we ran in the course of one year! Congratulations Turquoise Team Leader Allison Diehl; your success is an inspiration!
- The Mouse that Roared: Earlier this year, Barefoot Books made the decision to stop selling to Amazon, the biggest book giant of them all. There’s been no looking back since then, and our Co-founder and CEO Nancy Traversy has led the charge in bucking the traditional publishing model. Read more about this success story on Forbes.com.
- Facebook Party Superstar: Many of our Ambassadors have started hosting Facebook parties this year, and one Ambassador in particular had a dream guest list! Ambassador Carolyn Sharples hosted a party with over FIFTY attendees this fall, the most we’ve ever seen! Interested in hosting your own Facebook party? You can learn more here.
- Wordless Wonder: This year we released our first wordless book in entire twenty-two year history: Out of the Blue. Not only have our Ambassadors made this title a bestselling success, but it was recently nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award, one of the most prestigious children’s book awards in the United Kingdom! We were (pun alert) speechless at the news. Discover this title for yourself here: Europe / North America.
With such a great 2014 almost behind us, we can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!
With the Christmas season fast upon us, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the constant advertisements for ‘the perfect gift’. No matter where you turn, there’s another voice telling you that their toy is going to make or break your child’s holiday. And even though you know the truth — that perfect toy may well be forgotten in a week — it’s hard to tune it all out.
We here at Barefoot Books know that there’s something better out there for your family. Not another perfect gift, but something that everyone could use a little more of. This season, why not give the gift of time together?