Posts tagged ‘community’


Four Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Kids | Barefoot Books

Welcome to the Year of the Monkey! According to lunar astrological calendar, every year in a twelve-year cycle is ruled by a different animal—and as of Lunar New Year on Monday, February 8, 2016, the monkey is in charge! The monkey’s place in the Lunar Zodiac was established in the mists of time, when the Jade Emperor decided that a different animal should rule each year and, to determine the order of the animals, challenged them all to an epic race. The monkey finished ninth, earning it the ninth place in the Lunar Zodiac. If you were born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 or 2004, this is your year. You’re known for being happy, confident and enthusiastic, no matter what place you finish in any race!

Cherished in China, Korea and beyond, Lunar New Year is a great way to introduce the children in your life to another culture’s traditions. Here are a few kid-approved ideas for celebrating Lunar New Year:

Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Kids | Barefoot Books

From The Great Race

Have a Lavish New Year’s Eve Dinner

Traditionally, the festival opens with a lavish New Year’s Eve dinner held in honor of deceased ancestors. This meal is a time for all living family members to come together with the deceased, creating a united community to celebrate past and present generations.

In the past, family members filled bamboo stems with gunpowder and burned them to drive evil spirits away; today, people use firecrackers instead. Each is rolled in red paper, as the color red is considered lucky.


Send Letters to Loved Ones in Red Envelopes

The use of red extends to red envelopes or red packets that are traditionally passed out during the celebrations. The packets almost always contain money­— sometimes chocolate coins— and the amount is always given in even numbers. The number eight, for instance, is considered lucky, as is the number six, because in Mandarin it sounds like the word for “smooth,” promising a smooth year.

Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Kids | Barefoot Books

From Lin Yi's Lantern

Make a Paper Lantern

The fifteenth and final day of the celebration is commemorated with the Yuan Xiao Jie, or the “Festival of Lanterns.” Gathering under a full moon, adults and children light up the sky with their lantern displays and a lantern-carrying parade. Like the children in the photo above, learn how to make a paper lantern in the informational notes in Lin Yi’s Lantern, a gorgeously-illustrated Barefoot tale from China!

Share a Story to Learn More About the Culture!

Research shows that children (and grown-ups!) often draw incorrect conclusions about other cultures. In order to help children challenge stereotypes and develop global literacy, it’s important for adults to educate themselves and correct their own misconceptions. It’s easy to get started: just share stories from other cultures with the children in your life. It’s a great way to prompt conversations about diversity!

Keen to explore East Asian cultures? You’ll experience the excitement of a rural market in Lin Yi’s Lantern (ages 5-9), discover the warmth and wisdom of Buddhist thought in The Barefoot Book of Buddhist Tales (ages 6+) and meet “The Beggar Princess” in The Barefoot Book of Princes Stories (ages 4-9).

And, of course, be sure to watch the Jade Emperor’s epic race unfold—and find out why there is no Year of the Cat—in The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac (ages 4-9). Find additional tales from China and beyond here!

Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Kids | Barefoot Books

Want more ideas?

For more information on the traditions and customs of Lunar New Year, and for recipes and crafts you can make with the children in your life, check out our Pinterest board!

Want to find out which animal you are? Download a Lunar Calendar from The Great Race to use in your classroom, for fun at home or as a festive desktop wallpaper!

Do you have any Lunar New Year traditions? What is your Lunar zodiac animal? Share your stories in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

 


 

Barefoot Ambassador Jessica Romick has been hard at work in the kitchen creating a tasty new recipe that is sure to warm your tummy as the chilly winter air approaches. This stew contains a variety of savory vegetables including turnips (of course!), potatoes, carrots, and more! Jessica was kind enough to write to us about her new creation that is inspired by the The Gigantic Turnip by Aleksei Tolstoy and Niamh Sharkey. She writes:

I recently began sharing a story time with the homeschooling cooperative my four-year-old son is a member of. It’s been such a joy to read [Barefoot's] beautiful books to the children and see the excitement on their faces when I pull out a new book or a puppet. We’ve discussed the changing of the seasons with Listen, Listen; we’ve learned about dinosaurs through I Dreamt I Was a Dinosaur; and we’ve enjoyed learning how children around the world say “Hello!” using the Children of the World matching game.

In September, I shared one of my favorite stories—The Gigantic Turnip—and wanted to bring the story to life for the children in a unique way. I began looking around Pinterest to see if any other ambassadors (or anyone) had created a Gigantic Turnip Stew like the one mentioned at the end of the book. To my surprise, I found nothing! I hunted around for other recipes that focused on root vegetables and then set about creating my own take on what a Gigantic Turnip Stew would be.

After several trials I’m happy to share my recipe here with you. It has become my favorite fall meal (I’m eating a bowl of it right now as I write this)! Feel free to share this recipe with your friends, family, and clients. Bon Appetite!

Download Jessica’s “Gigantic Turnip Stew” recipe here!

Curl up with a copy of The Gigantic Turnip while eating a this delicious stew!

Find out what happens when the old woman, the old man, and all twenty-one animals on the farm try to harvest a rather large root vegetable. This well-loved Russian tale uses humor, counting and repetition to appeal to beginner readers. Book with CD editions include story read by Ellen Verenieks.

The Blue Ribbon Book
The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books
ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award Finalist
Books for Children, Mother Goose Award Winner
Children’s Book Council NOT Just for Children Anymore! Winner

 

If you would like one of your Barefoot-inspired creations to be featured on the Living Barefoot blog, message us on Facebook!

 


Our favourite events each year have to be our annual Barefoot Books Ambassador Conferences. These weekend-long events in Oxford, England and Concord, Massachusetts are a great opportunity for Ambassadors from all over the globe to gather as one and experience the joy of Living Barefoot. Our Ambassadors represent the Barefoot mission and work hard to build businesses of their own. This year our Conferences are in May and we can’t wait for the sound of our community celebrating, laughing and bonding—it’s the true sound of spring for us!


Today is the first annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day, designed to shine a light on great books for children that feature stories from around the world.
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We’re getting the new year off to a fabulous start with some big Barefoot steps forward.  We’ve acquired BabbaCo, the e-commerce subscription company dedicated to helping parents create fun, memorable experiences for their children.


2013 was an action-packed year for us at Barefoot Books. Here are some media highlights:


Boston Children’s Hospital provides health care for children who come from all over the world to be treated by its world class medical professionals. In addition to top-rate medical care, the young patients at the hospital have access to a team of professional artists or Artists-in-Residence to help them express their feelings.


Last month we shared with you the exciting news about Micha Archer, illustrator of Lola’s Fandango and The Wise Fool, and her magical decorations for a 10 foot tall Christmas tree, bringing Lola’s story to life. True to the story, big sister Clementina makes an appearance on the tree as well.


Blog_JenniferWaldon

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Waldon

Adults aren’t the only ones who feel the stress of the busy holiday season. Between parties, entertaining, shopping, wrapping, decorating, hosting visitors, baking, and other festivities that go along with the winter season, it can be exhausting even to think about, never mind take part in!


Ah . . . there are few things that bring back memories more strongly than smell.  Here are some of my favorites, from the festival of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday that starts tonight and celebrates the miracle of oil lasting long enough to rebuild the Temple during the 2nd century BCE: