Posts tagged ‘picture books’


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!


Wordless Wonder: The Many Benefits of a Wordless Book | Barefoot BooksDid you know that wordless books are powerful tools for promoting literacy? One of our favorites is Out of the Blue, an extraordinary seaside adventure by Alison Jay. Since we published Out of the Blue in 2014, we’ve often been asked how to use wordless books. If you’re wondering the same thing, you’re not alone! We’re delighted to share Team Leader Laurie Mattaliano’s insight into wordless books, below (first posted on her team’s blog Footnotes). Get ready to discover the wonders of a wordless book!

Princess of Springs Blog

Illustration by Martina Peluso from the upcoming The Princess of the Springs

American academic Jack Zipes is what a British newspaper calls the ‘Merlin of folklore studies.’  He has spent his life stepping inside stories and has written and edited scores of books, including The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales and The Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature. He is passionate about fairy tales, their meaning and their importance. He believes in the power of fairy tales to hold up a mirror to our lives and show us ‘the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society.’ Like all of us at Barefoot, Jack is convinced that story is not a commodity or entertainment but a means to explore and express ideas. So how lucky a few of the Barefoot Books Oxford office’s editorial team felt when we had the chance to listen to him talk at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) in London.

Working with talented illustrators at Barefoot is pretty much my favourite part of making books. I’ve always loved and admired Miss Clara’s artwork — her unique, quirky imagination and the magical and evocative scenes she creates. So it was pretty exciting to discover that we would be designing three beautiful, gifty Miss Clara picture books.

I have been wondering about picture books lately. I have been wondering what it is that attracts me to this very particular art form. What was the impulse that led to the founding of Barefoot Books — to twenty years of shaping and sharing stories with words and pictures? The child in me has one way of exploring this question, the adult another.

ruby barefoot books new sibling

To celebrate the addition of Ruby’s Baby Brother to our family of books, we asked you, our community, for tips and tricks for helping older children adjust to the addition of a new sibling to their families. We crowdsourced advice from our Facebook page and our Living Barefoot Forums, and got some great advice from you.

As an editor, I have been asked to give talks about my job and the editorial process for a variety of organizations. I’ve spoken for critique groups, conferences, and classrooms of all types — from graduate seminars in publishing to first-grade Career Days. I love being asked to speak about my job to anyone who wants to listen. Making books is such a strange and satisfying process, and it’s fun giving folks a peek behind the scenes of their favorite titles.

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of traveling to the bayous of Houma, Louisiana to give a talk at the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference to a group of aspiring children’s book authors and illustrators. Being a Southern girl to the bone and a former resident of that sweaty, wonderful part of the country, I could not wait to get back to Louisiana to run my mouth about my favorite subject: picture books!

If you’re anything like me, you’re starting to feel the winter months settling in. The cold is here and the kids are getting restless. You’re getting a bit tired of baking cookies, building forts and sweeping up remnants of the thousandth paper snowflake that your scissors and paper-loving child cut this week. So today, we’re pleased to bring you some help from two lovely ladies: Kerry Aradhya, author of the fabulous blog Picture Books & Pirouettes and Maria Hanley, a dance educator in New York City. We hope you enjoy their tips on making storytimes full of music, movement and laughter!