Posts tagged ‘nature’

The Beeman has surpassed even our own expectations; we were thrilled in 2010 when the book was announced as the winner of The English Association’s Award for the Best Non-Fiction title for Children aged 4-7. So when we heard about Laurie Krebs and The Beeman being selected for New York State’s Agriculture in the Classroom’s Literacy Week, we couldn’t help but ‘bee’ excited. The program, made possible by a partnership among Cornell University, the NYS Education Department, and the New York Farm Bureau, seeks to foster in young students all over New York State an awareness, understanding of, and appreciation for the agricultural system in America.

Staring into the eyes of a dragonfly, spotting a bullfrog camouflaged by browning leaves on the ground, counting the dots on the wings of a ladybug – these are some fond memories from childhood that pop into my mind when summer comes round. Here are some ways our Barefoot families like to spend the summer months.

Oh my goodness, March is already upon us. For Barefoot Books as a business, this means that the end of the first quarter is looming. So we huddle up in strategy meetings and stare at spreadsheets and rejoice when orders come in. For me personally, March has other resonances too, made more vivid this year by a spell of deliciously warm weather.

Providing children with stories that engage them in the natural world is an integral part of our mission at Barefoot Books, and we are therefore very excited to share this inspiring two-part blog post on beekeeping with you. Part one takes us to the rural landscape of Northeastern Turkey, and is the story of Cat Jaffee, founder of Balyolu, a non-profit honey business. In her words…

Do you know any houses that have a noticeable sense of place, a spirit that the Romans knew and spoke of as the ‘genius loci?’ One house that carries this quality for me is the home in southwest France of my business partner, Nancy, and her family. I have just returned from my annual summer visit to the house, and each time I go there I have the same sensation: whenever I open the front door, I feel as if I am being met and welcomed by someone or ones who have lived here before.

I am in the land of trees again (with warm thanks to everyone who commented on ‘Talking to Trees’ a few weeks back). This time, my starting point is a bit dispiriting. The child health journal Acta Paediatrica has just published research measuring the strength of 350 ten year-olds against a similar group who were measured ten years earlier. The findings show that our children are getting feebler: arm strength is 26% down; the ability to do sit-ups has plummeted. Children can’t climb trees the way they used to.