Category Archives: Misc

International Book Giving Day #GiveABook

ibdgposter2014International Book Giving Day is February 14 and we have something BIG PLANNED! Follow on us on Facebook details and an easy way to help!

International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th!

Three simple ways to celebrate International Book Giving Day!

1. Give a Book to a Friend or Relative.

Celebrate International Book Giving Day by giving a child a new or gently used book.

2. Leave a Book in a Waiting Room or Lobby.

Choose a waiting room where kids are stuck waiting and there are few to no good books available.  For example, your local WIC or county assistance office! The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids, so choose a fun book, nothing controversial.

3. Donate a Book.
Wrap up a box of children’s books that your kids have outgrown and get them in the hands of children who could really use a book or two. Donate your books to your local second hand store, library, children’s hospital, or shelter. Alternatively, donate your books to an organization working internationally to get books in the hands of kids, such as Books for Africa.
Finally, visit and share how you’ll be participating this year!

10 Multicultural Children’s Books for 2014

Last year, I posted a list of 10 wonderful multicultural children’s books. I still stand by that list but a few are out of print and there have been many newly published titles since then. In light of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, (hosted by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom) I thought it was time for an update!


So here are 10 MORE children’s books to enjoy celebrating the multicultural world in which we live.

Here are 10 children’s books to enjoy celebrating the multicultural world in which we live.

1. FarmyardJamboree_HCwCD_WThe Farmyard Jamboree
The cover does not do this fun toe-tapper justice!

Sing and dance along with a young boy who introduces different members of his family along with a new farmyard animal and animal baby on every page of this rollicking early learner, inspired by a Chilean folk tale.

Ages 3 to 7 years
Written By: Margaret Read MacDonald
Illustrated By: Sophie Fatus
Sung By: Bob King

2. MamaPanyasPancakes_PB_W_1Mama Panya’s Pancakes – A Village Tale from Kenya

On market day, Mama Panya’s son Adika invites everyone he sees to a pancake dinner. How will Mama Panya ever feed them all? This clever and heartwarming story about Kenyan village life teaches the importance of sharing, even when you have little to give. There’s a bonus recipe for Mama Panya’s pancakes at the back of this book so you can carry the story into your kitchen!

Notable Books for a Global Society
Winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Rich Chamberlin, Mary Chamberlin
Illustrated By: Julia Cairns

3. the-barefoot-book-of-jewish-tales_ukushbcd_w_1Jewish Tales

This engaging collection includes eight delightful tales from the Jewish tradition. Each story has been chosen for its appeal to families and each has a simple — yet powerful — message. Written by Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, herself a mother of three, this is a fantastic set of stories to share and to treasure. Includes two story CDs narrated by Debra Messing.

Ages 7 and up
Written By: Shoshana Boyd Gelfand
Illustrated By: Amanda Hall
Narrated By: Debra Messing

4. themountainsoftibet_gen_wThe Mountains of Tibet!

A Tibetan woodcutter dreams of exploring the world, but is too busy with his life to ever leave his valley. After he dies, he is taken on a journey through the cosmos and all the places on Earth as he makes choices that lead him to a new life. First published as part of the debut list for Barefoot Books in 1993, this gentle and inspiring look at life after death is just as relevant today.

For all ages
Written By: Mordicai Gerstein


5. lolasfandango_hccd_w_1Lola’s Fandango
One of our favorites! Even if audible stories are not your thing you should make an exception and listen to the story-CD that comes with both the paperback and hardcover versions! It is very well done and truly brings the story to life!

Lola is a young Spanish girl in awe of her glamorous older sister. However, she discovers her own talent and duende, or spirit, through secret fandango lessons from her father. The text is infused with the rhythms, movements and sounds of the dance and the humanity of Lola’s family is beautifully portrayed by Micha Archer’s collage-paintings.

Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Anna Witte
Illustrated By: Micha Archer
Narrated By: The Amador Family


6. TalesFromOldIreland_PBwCD_WTales from Old Ireland
Celebrate the wonder of Ireland with the seven enchanting stories in this captivating collection. The rich traditions of Irish storytelling are honored with larger-than-life characters, myths and legends around every bend, and plenty of magic. Book with double CDs include stories read by Grammy-nominated singer Maura O’Connell.

Ages 6 and up
Retold By: Malachy Doyle
Illustrated By: Niamh Sharkey
Narrated By: Maura O’Connell

7. thegirlwithabraveheart_ushb_w_2The Girl with the Brave Heart
Shiraz, a kindhearted young girl growing up in Tehran, has a miserable life at home with her stepmother and stepsister, who treat her like a servant. When the wind blows Shiraz’s ball of wool into the garden next door, she spends the day helping and caring for the old lady who lives there, with miraculous results. Then her stepmother sends her own daughter off on the same mission . . . but will the results be the same?

This folktale is smartly illustrated and has a unique and  thought-provoking ending that may escape the youngest readers. I suggest this book for children on the higher end of the publisher’s recommended age range.

Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Rita Jahanforuz
Illustrated By: Vali Mintzi

8. MyGrannyWentToMarket_PB_W_2 My Granny Went to MarketA Round the World Counting Rhyme

A charming tale for the youngest adventurers! Fly away with Granny and count with her from one to ten as she spins around the world on an unforgettable shopping trip. This colorful, rhyming story is followed by a counting page for reinforced learning.

Ages 3 to 7 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Christopher Corr

9. wisefool_hc_w The Wise Fool – Fables from the Islamic World

Meet Mulla Nasruddin, a legendary character whose adventures and misadventures are enjoyed across the Islamic world. This witty collection of stories portrays his eccentric, engaging and irreverent character. Nasruddin always has a twinkle in his eye, a sliver of wisdom in his ramblings, and a few good surprises up his sleeve!

Ages 6 and up
Written By: Shahrukh Husain
Illustrated By: Micha Archer

10. TheStoryTree_PBwCD_W_4 The Story Tree – Tales to Read Aloud

If you’re going to get just one new book from the list, CHECK THIS ONE OUT! The Story Tree was the perfect book to carry with us on our summer vacation this year. We read one of the seven stories from around the world each night and adored them all. A Jewish tale, called The Blue Button, is our personal favorite. :)

Ages 3 to 7 years
Retold By: Hugh Lupton
Illustrated By: Sophie Fatus


Click on any of these books to order from publisher, Barefoot Books, and save 20% off your ENTIRE order with coupon code FIRST2014! Exp 31 March, 2014.

Scarecrows, Children’s Stories, Make-a-Wish

The other weekend was my first weekend free from work in over a year. You see, I had to give up my little children’s books and gift shop at a local weekend market in order to better focus on other ventures.

At the same time I was invited join another mom and her family at the Make-A-Wish foundation walk-a-thon. She lost her baby, James, to medical errors 11 years ago. She and her family memorialize baby James by supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my first obligation-free weekend.

The walk was held at the Morris Arboretum and as an added bonus [to me anyway] the arboretum was hosting a scarecrow design contest. One of the themes was Children’s Stories!

Here are some photos I snapped during our walk:

Weekend Flash Sale at Barefoot Books

Use coupon code SEPTSALE and save 20% off your entire order PLUS get free shipping if you final order is over $60.
Coupon good on SALE AND CLEARANCE ITEMS too!

Lastly, don’t forget to check out the many new releases, such as The Kite Princess, Finn at Clee Point, and Red Riding Hood!

Arlo Needs Glasses! Review and Contest

Last week a fun new book landed on my doorstep, Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Saltzberg.

Arlo Needs Glasses (Workman, July 2012) is the latest book from Saltzberg, the bestselling author of Beautiful Oops!, Peekaboo Kisses, and Good Egg.

Arlo Needs Glasses was inspired by Barney’s own four-legged-friend. Just like his character, the real-life Arlo is not very good at playing catch either.

“He just couldn’t get the ball to land in his mouth,” says Saltzberg. “We tried over and over and I honestly had never seen anything like it.” Thus, the idea for Arlo Needs Glasses was born.

At first I was underwhelmed at the thought of yet another children’s book inspired by someone’s pet. But as soon as I opened the book and we started reading it I knew we were in for a treat.

Saltzberg’s brush and pencil strokes are full of whimsy in this brightly illustrated mixed media book. The book is taken to another level with carefully thought out and crafted pop-out and interactive features. On one page you’ll find a whirling ball, on another a giant pull-out phoropter (the machine eye-doctors commonly use to check vision), and even pull out glasses for Arlo or you and your child to try on.

If your child needs glasses or knows someone who does – for my little guy that’s his Daddy, Pop-pop and cousin – the text and illustrations of this book simply and clearly explain WHY they needed glasses and why glasses are so cool.

Check out the book trailer below to get a better feel for what to expect.

To celebrate the release of this new book, Workman is hosting a fun doggy photo contest. It’s so easy to enter and 5 winners will receive an autographed copy of Arlo Needs Glasses.

What has four eyes and four legs? Your dog in glasses! Share funny photo of your dog wearing glasses for a chance to win a signed copy of Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Saltzberg. Be silly, but promise to not put your pup through too much embarrassment.

Enter by posting your photo on your Pinterest board with the hashtag #ArloNeedsGlasses. Then follow Workman’s board: Workman will repin the photos to the “My Dog Needs Glasses!” board.

Five photos with the most likes and re-pins by July 31st will win an autographed copy of Arlo Needs Glasses. Entrants must be U.S. residents.

Here’s my entry:

Dog looking too cool in sunglasses

My doggy-nephew, Brady, looking too cool in shades.

P.S. If you get your hands on this book, and I definitely recommend it, don’t forget to look for the hidden poem included within the eye chart!

Old School Fun and Reading with Chick-fil-A – GIVEAWAY

Chick-fil-A has recently introduced a few new healthy options Kid’s Meals. You can now opt for Grilled Nuggets as the entree and Buddy Fruits® Pure Blended Fruit To Go applesauce as a side.

Did you also know that you can get a book with every meal no matter what the current toy promotion is? Just ask for the “under 3 toy” and you get a cute little board book that’s perfectly sized for little fingers (and diaper bags and purses!)

Chick-fil-A also just released this this fun app loaded with a ton of printable old school games you can play as a family. There’s also a fun quiz that will lead you down memory lane for sure.

Check out the app for yourself right here and when you’re done enter the giveaway below for a prize pack of 3 free kid’s meals coupons.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Carnival of Children’s Literature – March

Welcome to the March 2012 edition of the Carnival of Children’s Literature!

March started off with Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and the release of The Lorax. I loved seeing everyone excited about Seuss, reading, and the environment this month because of that.  I, myself, received free tickets to The Lorax and took my son to see his first ever movie. While I still prefer the book and the 1972 animated special, I have to admit the movie was better than I expected. I hope many families were inspired to buy the actual book or check it out at the library.

More importantly, March is Women’s History month! There’s no doubting that when you see the fantastic lineup of reviews this month either. Yet, we still have a nice bit of variety outside of Seuss and women’s history. I put a number of new titles on our MUST READ list and I think you will too after hopping through these posts.

Early Literacy






Book Projects

I hope everyone had fun at this month’s Carnival of Children’s Literature. Join the fun again in April over at A Curious Thing!


Bear’s Birthday book GIVEAWAY

My little man is turning 3 in a few weeks. I’d like to celebrate with you by giving away a copy of one of our favorite books, Bear’s Birthday!

Bear’s Birthday is the latest book in a series of 8 best-selling books featuring Bear. Although not overtly a counting book the story starts with Bear blowing up 10 balloons in preparation for his party. As the written story progresses, you’ll have fun pointing out how a balloon gets lost on each page. By the end of the book, Bear has had a great party and all the balloons are gone.

This book is a great BIRTHDAY GIFT for any 1-4 year old but is perfect year round. We read it quite frequently and my son loves the page wear Bear blows out his candles. He blows the candles with Bear. So stinkin’ cute. There’s one problem though … we often get stuck on the page early in the book with a choo choo train. As in, he gets mad if I try to turn the page because he wants to keep looking at the picture!

Yes, like a stereotypical young boy he’s obsessed with trains now. We’re going to take him on a train ride with the Easter bunny for his birthday and I’ll be gifting him a copy of Magic Train Ride.

Publisher Description:
Bear’s Birthday
Join Bear as he celebrates his birthday in this latest addition to the bestselling Bear series. Help Bear count backwards from 10 to 0 and find out who is making his balloons disappear.

Ages 2 to 6 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Debbie Harter

To win a copy of this fun book enter using the Rafflecopter form below. I’ll be so happy if you do and consider every entry a Happy Birthday to my son. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!


Merry Christmas!

Photo Credit Shawn Calhoun, NUC Christmas Tree @ Gleeson Library