Tag Archives: Barefoot Books

10 Multicultural Books for Children

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

1. Motherbridge of Love
Cherish the special bond between parent and child with this beautiful, anonymously written poem. Through the exchanges between a little girl and her adoptive parent, this poignant selection celebrates love and family.

Text royalties from this book are donated to Mother Bridge of Love, a charity that reaches out to Chinese children all over the world in order to develop a connection between China and the West, and between adoptive culture and birth culture. Xinran, the acclaimed Chinese author, broadcaster and journalist, is the founder of Mother Bridge of Love.

For all ages
Illustrated By: Josée Masse

2. African Tales
A Barefoot Collection

Explore this colorful continent and uncover the rich ways of life of the many peoples who live there. The eight stories in this collection, each from a different African country, feature educational facts and information about the cultures from which they are chosen. The stories are retold by award-winning Xhosa storyteller Gcina Mphlope, from Durban, South Africa. Includes a full-color map.

10% of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Books for Africa, an organization that collects, ships and distributes books to children across the African continent.

Ages 8 and up
Written By: Gcina Mhlophe
Illustrated By: Rachel Griffin

3. We All Went on Safari – A Counting Journey Through Tanzania
Learn to count in Swahili while discovering African animals on an exciting safari through the grasslands of Tanzania. Facts about Tanzania, Swahili counting, the Maasai people and a map are included at the end.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation, to aid in their wildlife conservation and community building efforts in Tanzania.

Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Julia Cairns

4. If You're Happy and you know it! children's book singalongIf You’re Happy and You Know It! – hardcover with music CD ON SALE THIS MONTH!
In this multicultural version of the traditional song, children from cultures all over the world clap their hands, stomp their feet, pat their heads, and much more. Your child will also learn how to say “Hello!” in several languages.

Paperback with Enhanced CD edition includes an animated video with audio singalong sung by Susan Reed.

Ages 3 to 7 years
Written By: Anna McQuinn
Illustrated By: Sophie Fatus
Sung By: Susan Reed

Pair If You’re Happy and You Know It with the Children of the World Memory Game to make a perfect gift set! The game was inspired by the book and encourages memory and matching skills. The object of the game is to match the boy and girl pairs according to the traditional dress, country name and color featured on each card. You’ll also learn 36 ways people say, “Hello!” all over the world.

5. Barefoot Books World Atlas
Embark on a mind-expanding journey across the planet. Your guide is earth enthusiast and TV presenter Nick Crane. Your map-maker is artist David Dean. Divided by geographical region, the Barefoot Books World Atlas looks at the way in which communities and cultures across the world have been shaped by their natural environment, and at the ideas and initiatives which are shaping the future. An atlas for the twenty-first century, it shows how all parts of the planet are interconnected and looks at the challenges which face us all in creating a sustainable future.
Include “lift-the-flap” fun facts and a pull-out wall map.

For all ages
Written By: Nick Crane
Illustrated By: David Dean

(Purchase of the companion iTunes app is not trackable and therefore won’t count for The Sparrow Fund donation this month. The hardcover book is amazing!)

6. Indian Tales – A Barefoot Collection
Venture to a country that is bursting with color, life and contrasts in these lively folk tales. The eight stories in this anthology, each from a different Indian state, feature educational facts and information about the cultures from which they are chosen.

Ages 8 and up
Retold By: Shenaaz Nanji
Illustrated By: Christopher Corr

7. Tales of Wisdom & Wonder
Prepare to be amazed, intrigued and enchanted by these astonishing tales. The seven stories gathered from sources around the world, including Haiti, Russia, America (Cree), and Ireland are full of magic, mystery and transformations. Book with CD editions include stories read by Hugh Lupton.

Ages 5 to 11 years
Retold By: Hugh Lupton
Illustrated By: Niamh Sharkey

8. Off We Go to Mexico! – An Adventure in the Sun
Swim in turquoise seas, admire grey whales and monarch butterflies, trek to native villages and sing and dance to the music of Mariachi bands. Along the way, you can learn Spanish words and phrases and discover Mexican culture. Enjoy your journey!

Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Christopher Corr

9. Stories from the Silk Road
Journey along the ancient trade route between East and West. The seven intriguing tales in this collection each feature an important city along the Silk Road, and are filled with adventure and drama, as the merchants, muleteers, spies and shepherds travel this exotic route.

Ages 8 and up
Retold By: Cherry Gilchrist
Illustrated By: Nilesh Mistry

10. The Barefoot Book of Blessings from Many Faiths and Cultures
Cultivate a reverence for life’s gifts and the varied ways of receiving them. This elegant collection of prayers and blessings is selected from a wide range of countries, cultures and world religions.

Ages 5 and up
Compiled By: Sabrina Dearborn
Illustrated By: Olwyn Whelan

The Farmyard Jamboree by Margaret Read MacDonalds

The Farmyard Jamboree was just released on Youtube! Grab your little one and have a listen:

The Farmyard Jamboree is a Chilean Folktale and one of a number of singalong books published by Barefoot Books. The cover truly does not give this gem of a children’s book justice. Besides having your children singing, clapping, and dancing along they will learn to count by twos, the names of baby animals, and the names of different family members.

The book is currently available in paperback format with an enhanced CD that includes both a video to play on your computer and music to listen to on your CD player. The video can be watched with or without lyrics, or even without vocals if you want to try singing karaoke-style. Warning: older used versions of the book may have a CD without the accompanying video.

Publisher Description:

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. Sung by Bob King. From the book and CD written by Margaret Read MacDonald and illustrated by Sophie Fatus.
Ages 3 to 7 years

Deal Alert: The Best of Barefoot Gift Collection Sale

Until the end of April this fantastic book set that includes many of the best selling books from barefoot Books is $30 off! We just received ours in the mail today and it includes everything listed below. This “Best of Barefoot Gift Collection” set makes a super easy gift for baby showers and birthdays. It includes the best selling and award winning children’s books listed below.

Hardcover editions of
Mother Goose Remembers with music CD - $19.99
The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales - $19.99
The Barefoot Book of Pirates with story CD - $19.99
We All Went on Safari - $16.99
The Animal Boogie with watch and singalong CD – $16.99
The Story Tree with story CD – $19.99
The Faerie’s Gift with story CD – $17.99

Bear on a Bike board book – $6.99
Yoga Pretzels card deck. – $14.99
A large and sturdy canvas red tote with a gift tag completes the gift set. – $19.99

Free SteveSongs Download and Tour Schedule

Halloween may be over but it’s not too late to snag a free Halloween song download from SteveSongs at Mr-Steve.com Free download offer expires 11/15/11.

A few weeks ago, I posted about SteveSongs newest children’s singalong book that was just released by Barefoot Books. The video wasn’t out on Youbtube yet, but it is now! The book comes with a CD that includes several versions of this video. My son and 2 nephews absolutely love The Shape Song Swingalong now that they’ve seen the video. They now ask for the book and video by saying “Circle, circle!”

If you’re lucky, you may get to see SteveSongs perform this song or other during his current concert tour. Here are the remaining dates and locations. Sadly, none in the Phila area for us.

Soar with Reading Sweepstakes – Winning Library Celebration!
Dundee, IL

Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center presents SteveSongs!
Newton, MA

Wonder! presents SteveSongs
Deerfield, IL

Middninght on Main
Middletown, CT,

SteveSongs 11th Anniversary Family Concert sponsored by Acton Children’s School
Acton, MA

SteveSongs 11th Anniversary Pajama Party Concerts sponsored by The Billy Dalwin PreSchool of Temple Emunah
Lexington, MA

Jammin’ Java Music Club and Cafe
Vienna, VA

SteveSongs Marvelous Musical Concerts to support Baby Basics
Needham, MA

shape song swingalong stevesongs

Halloween titles + SALE + Coupon Code = DEAL!

DEAL ALERT! Barefoot Books is doing a weekend flash sale. Everything you purchase is 20% OFF with coupon code OCTSALE plus free shipping on orders over $60. The best part is you can use it on items that are on sale! For the month of October, there are 3 books on sale that are perfect for the Halloween season: Tales of Mystery and Magic, The Barefoot Book of Giants, Ghosts, Goblins, and The Barefoot Book of Monsters!

These are not those cheap and practically toss-away Halloween books you see in your local supermarket. Rather they are quality children books that can be read any time of the year that just so happen to be the perfect theme for Halloween. Order now using the OCTSALE coupon code and they should be at your door in plenty of time. Code EXPIRES Oct 17th! P.S. There are other types of books on sale too, including a couple of cute Clare Beaton board books.

Tales of Mystery and Magic

A bewitching world of mystery and magic awaits you! Meet singing elves with magical feet; skeletons that move of their own accord; and a heroic blackbird who outwits a powerful king. Master storyteller Hugh Lupton is at his exceptional best as he shares the most mysterious tales in his repertoire. Book with CD editions include stories read by Hugh Lupton.

Ages 6 and up
Retold By: Hugh Lupton
Illustrated By: Agnese Baruzzi

WAS $19.99
NOW $14.99
Hardcover w Story CD

The Barefoot Book of Giants, Ghosts, Goblins
Encounter a whole host of outlandish characters in these nine stories gathered from cultures around the world. Action-packed and full of wonder, this anthology proves that everyone has challenges to overcome — even giants who are twelve feet tall. Book with double CDs edition includes stories read by Sesame Street’s Jerry Nelson.

Ages 5 to 11 years
Retold By: John Matthews
Illustrated By: Giovanni Manna
Narrated By: Jerry Nelson

WAS $21.99
NOW $15.99
Hardcover w Story CD

The Barefoot Book of Monsters!
Take a deep breath and enter a world of wacky monsters from near and far. The six stories come from different cultures around the world and are inspired by traditional folk tales.

Ages 5 to 10 years
Retold By: Fran Parnell
Illustrated By: Sophie Fatus

WAS $19.99
NOW $14.99

The Shape Song Swingalong by SteveSongs

It’s finally here! The Shape Song Swingalong by SteveSongs has just been released by Barefoot Books in paperback ($9.99) and hardcover ($16.99) format. Both versions include a watch-and-singlong (video and music) CD for your computer.

If you’ve watched PBS at all the past few years you may have already heard this song and gotten it stuck in your head. Here’s a clip from PBS’s Music Time with SteveSongs performing the song:

Line, line, circle, circle, square, square, square, triangle, triangle, line…

The next time I order books I will definitely be snagging a copy of this for my little guy. He’s already a big fan of the Driving My Tractor and Knick Knack Paddy Whack singalong books, also sung by SteveSongs.

Publisher description:

shape song swingalong stevesongs

The Shape Song Swingalong
What can you make with a line, a circle or square? This inspiring book, based on an original song by children’s singer SteveSongs, shows how simple shapes can be transformed into anything you can imagine from boats to skyscrapers to a circus. The catchy song and animation will soon have you dancing along, making shapes!

Book with enhanced CD includes an animated singalong performed by SteveSongs.
Ages 4 to 7 years
Written By: SteveSongs
Illustrated By: David Sim

Private Library Tour Fundraiser in Concord, MA

You may have heard of home & garden tours before but have you ever heard of a private library tour? Well, the The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library are organizing one to benefit the library and it sounds like a lot of fun!

The tour will be on October 1st and for just $25 you will get to experience a selection of Concord’s finest private libraries and collections.

The exact homes on the tour are a secret but The Boston Globe gives us a sneak peak in “Top shelf-offering“.

One of the revealed stops is Nancy Traversy’s home. Traversy is a co-founder of children’s book publisher, Barefoot Books. Traversy says that her library is “a collection of every book Barefoot has ever published. I started the business 20 years ago. We’ve published between 500 and 600 books since 1992 … and when we moved to our Concord home 10 years ago, I really wanted to put them on display.”

If you are in the Concord, Massachusetts area and a book lover you definitely should put this tour on your to-do list. Find out more and how to get tickets at ConcordLibrary.org or by emailing privatelibrarytour@concordlibrary.org

And if you go please report back because I live way too far!

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

The Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush music video by Barefoot Books has just been released on Youtube.

This singalong book takes the classic song we all know and adds a multicultural twist. With the illustrations we get to follow children from China, Europe, India, and Mali in their daily morning routine. I enjoyed the mini language lesson at the end that teaches us how to say GOODBYE in Bambara, Hindi, and Cantonese and my son pretty much enjoyed the entire book!

A perfect companion book would be If You’re Happy and You Know it! illustrated by the same artist, Sophie Fatus. This one is full of multicultureal images and teaches us how to say HELLO in many languages. Long time blog follows know “Happy” has been a house favorite for some time!

I hope your little ones will love this new video as much as my toddler does. Can’t tell you how many times we watched this video or flipped through the book so far!

Here we Go Round the Mulberry Bush - Children's Book

Publisher description:

Sing alone with Fred Penner as you follow four childrens from different countries, each going through their early morning routine and getting ready for school. See what the pictures tell you about different ways of life in Europe, Mali, Indian, and China. The catchy text encourages creative movement and imagination, while teaching about different ways of life. What do you do early in the morning?

Enhanced CD edition includes an animated video and audio singalong sung by Fred Penner.
Ages 3 to 7 years
Illustrated By: Sophie Fatus
Narrated By: Fred Penner

Bear in a Square – Activities

Bear in a Square

Discover lots of different shapes with Bear — there are triangles on the waves, diamonds on the crown and stars in the sky. Rhyme, repetition and counting establish this book of shapes, and a two-page spread recapping the shapes and colors reinforces the educational building blocks.

Ages 2 to 6 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Debbie Harter
Format: board book or paperback

Activities to go with Bear in a Square:


After reading Bear in a Square aloud with children, go back and review the different shapes in the book. As each shape is identified, draw it on a poster pad, whiteboard or chalkboard so that the kids can easily see it.

Go back through the book again. This time have kids identify the shapes themselves. Ask one child to find a diamond, ask another to find a rectangle. Make sure you point out that shapes exist in unexpected places too, like the rectangles on the bear’s scarf and the crescent moon used as a candle holder.

Challenge children to find examples of each shape in the room you are in. Remember that shapes can be found in patterns, posters, and architectural details like windows and doors. How many of each shape can you find?

Activity – Shape Art


  • Colored construction paper
  • pre-cut paper shapes and/or shape templates
  • Glue sticks or school glue
  • Scissors
  • Imagination!

Have children create their own shape collage art!

Draw or trace shapes to make templates of various sizes. You can trace shapes from those shown in the last two pages of the Bear in a Square and look around for everyday objects for other sizes (e.g a soup can for a circle).

Use the templates to draw and cut out shapes from colored construction paper. Pre-cut shapes for younger children or have older children work on dexterity and use their scissor skills by cutting out shapes themselves.

Have the kids lay shapes on blank sheets of construction paper to make a picture or abstract design .

Guide them and show how you can make objects out of different shapes. For example, you can use a big circle and small triangles to make a sun or flower, a square and skinny rectangle to make a top hat, or even just circles to make a teddy bear!

Let them be imaginative and play with the shapes to create something unique and beautiful.

Glue designs in place, let dry, and find the perfect place to display the new artwork!


Barefoot Books Celebrates Bear’s Birthday with Charity Campaign

To celebrate the publication of Bear’s Birthday, eighth in the series of best-selling Bear books for children under five, Barefoot Books today announced a special charity campaign to help children in need. For every copy of Bear’s Birthday sold between July 1 and July 31, 2011, Barefoot Books will donate a new book to Birthday Wishes in the US and Refuge in the UK, two charities chosen for their commitment to supporting children in difficult situations.

Birthday Wishes is a non-profit organization with a simple, but important mission: to bring birthday parties to homeless children, and Refuge is the UK’s largest single provider of specialist emergency accommodation and support to women and children escaping domestic violence.

Nancy Traversy, Co-founder and CEO, Barefoot Books said,

“When we started the Bear series in 1998 with Bear in a Square and Bear on a Bike, we heard from many families about how Bear brings fun and learning to storytime. Since then, over a million families have enjoyed Bear. So, for us, a natural way to celebrate Bear’s Birthday is to bring smiles to children in need by donating new copies of some of our most fun-loving titles. We are delighted to work with Birthday Wishes and Refuge, charities working so hard to help children through tremendous hardships in their young lives. We hope our books bring these children great comfort, and a love of learning.”

Giving back is a core value of Barefoot Books, and a critical part of its mission to spark the imaginations of children who come from all walks of life. Since the company started nearly twenty years ago, it has donated many tens of thousands of new books to a variety of charities, including First Book, BookAid, and Books for Africa.

To purchase Bear’s Birthday and other Barefoot Books order online at www.barefootbooks.com/shop