Barefoot Books

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?

With the new year beginning, we’re reminded of our favourite wintertime activity. Everyone has one or two particular childhood memories about clamouring into bed with a beloved book, and listening with drooping eyelids as sleep takes over. Now you may have children of your own, so you know that nothing completes the nighttime routine better than a bedtime story. It’s a special time when the world is quieting, and the hustle and bustle of the busy day is winding down. It’s one last moment of togetherness — a time to say “I love you”.

And stories aren’t just for sharing before bed; they’re a wonderful way to settle the family down throughout the day, exercise the imagination and get a conversation started. Stories help us face fears, work through unfamiliar scenarios and introduce us to a world of make-believe that would be otherwise inaccessible. Reading together is so much more than a simple recreational activity. Inside the pages of a book, families can enjoy pointing out details in the artwork, posing questions about the characters, and even trying to finish the rhyme or guessing what will happen next. The whole process creates a connection between the reader and the child while simultaneously strengthening the child’s reading skills and their understanding of core concepts.

With a chill in the air and heavy down blankets to snuggle up in, winter is an ideal time for piling the kids in your lap and cuddling up with a book. They’ll love being with you and hearing your voice as you read each page, and you’ll love the peaceful togetherness that rounds out another day. A very Happy New Year filled with stories and love to you and yours!


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!

Dinosaur Dreams: North America / Europe
Opposites: North America / Europe
Animal Boogie: North America / Europe
Greek Epics: North America / Europe
Miss Clara: North America / Europe

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 AmericaEurope
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:


Go Natural: Use neutral coloured wrapping paper and yarn to create your base. Then decorate your wrapping with bits and bobs of natural material from your yard, like tree sprigs and twigs!

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.

Go Global: Using brown kraft paper and twine, wrap up your book like a parcel and decorate it with stickers for postage. It will look the book came from the North Pole itself!


For more creative book wrapping ideas, visit our Pinterest board. To find great books to wrap inside, visit our Gift Guide!

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!