Posts tagged ‘childhood’


Across the water meadows from my home in Somerset stands Hog Wood. It’s a haunting and magical place to walk in at any time of year, home to all kinds of wild creatures and to oak, ash, hawthorn, celandine, ferns, brambles. It’s also punctuated by bunkers built in the Second World War to defend the community against an invasion from Germany. And it is a den-builder’s dream, with lots of fallen branches that can be used to construct woodland shelters.


This post is the first in a series of reflections about books that have changed my life. Being unable to reduce my choice to just one book, I have chosen instead to look at my life in seven-year stages and to share the book I most remember from that time.  The first of these has to be The Little Island. I don’t quite know how this picture book came into my childhood home, but it coloured my view of the world and of myself in a way that no other picture book ever has.


When Priscilla Jones of PB & J Preschool Consulting Services told us she was creating a weekly Barefoot Books Storytime, we knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to learn how early childhood educators use our books in the classroom. Please read on for our Q & A with Priscilla, and learn all about how to create a memorable storytime experience, why children love our books, the importance of developing early literacy skills and more!


I grew up in rural Yorkshire, where there was plenty of space for the summertime activities that I recommended a couple of weeks ago. To my mother’s dismay, I was a tomboy: it became apparent to me at an early age that boys had a better deal in my world than girls, and my tomboy tendencies included refusing point blank to wear skirts or dresses from the age of six to fourteen. Well really, how could you do the kinds of things I most enjoyed if you were hampered by clothes that weren’t supposed to get dirty?


The summer holidays are upon us. Hurrah! Even if I am not yet on holiday myself, I love this time of year, the child in me remembering the bliss of ten weeks of freedom.