Barefoot Books is an award-winning, independent children’s book publisher, dedicated to bringing art and story to children from all walks of life. It was started by two mothers who were seeking books that inspired children’s creativity and imagination, while also instilling respect for other cultures and the planet. It’s also one of only two national booksellers recommended by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
‘Saratoga mama’ and Barefoot Books Ambassador, Amy Mangiaracina, sells their beautiful books, music, and more online, at home parties, at community events, and at school and nonprofit fundraisers. We own several titles from Barefoot Books and they are beautifully written and illustrated. We’re especially fond of the singalong books!
Here are some of her favorite picks for children’s summer reading lists:
Babies & Toddlers:
- Listen, Listen. Listen to all the wonderful sounds of the seasons. Birds chirp, leaves crunch, fires crackle and seagulls squawk in the rhythmic verse that features iconic images and sounds for each season of the year. Includes end section with fun hide and seek spreads for each season.
- Counting Cockatoos. Count to twelve with help from tumbling tigers, winking owls and more, while you search for the two cockatoos hidden on every page.
- How Loud is a Lion? Find out just how loud a lion is while discovering lots of other African animals along the way. Simple text with a repeated refrain develops memory skills and builds vocabulary.
- Ship Shapes. Spot the shapes atop rolling waves and on sandy shores. This sea-based early learning selection features rhyme and repetition, as well as a full-page summarizing the shapes for reinforced learning.
- Beat at Work. Head off to work with Bear as he delivers mail and learns about other professions. Rhythm and rhyme drive the clever text, and a full-spread illustration of the professions at the end reinforces the learning and invites readers to go back through the story to spot the different working bears.
- Cleo’s Counting Book. Join Cleo as she counts from one to ten, then back down to one again. Two double-page spreads of number reinforcement help the mastering of counting skills, while the rhyming text and the familiar items to count add to the appeal.
- Port Side Pirates! Travel the high seas with a lively band of buccaneers as they enjoy a melodic adventure aboard their galleon. Includes fun information about historical pirates, pirates around the world, and even a helpful chart naming the parts of a ship. CD include song sung by Mark Collins.
- The Animal Boogie. Can you boogie? Down in the Indian jungle, the children and animals are learning about actions like leaping, stomping, shaking and flapping while meeting different jungle creatures. Enhanced CD includes an animated video with audio singalong sung by acclaimed children’s performer Fred Penner.
- Magic Train Ride. Climb aboard the magic train for an unforgettable journey. At each stop, the train comes across new and wonderful things to look at and talk about, in forests and jungles, and all the way to outer space. CD includes song sung by Sally Crabtree.
- Jack and the Beanstalk. Climb the beanstalk with Jack in this quirky take on the traditional tale. When there is no food in the cupboard, Jack goes to market to sell Daisy the cow. But rather than money, Jack procures magic beans and the promise of adventure. Book with CD includes story read by Richard Hope.
- Ruby’s School Walk. Join Ruby on her way to school and see the world her mom cannot see. In an old house, she spies bats with red eyes peering out and scary witches that flit about. And these aren’t the only dangers on her path: tigers, crocodiles and mighty beasts abound! “I must be brave, I must be strong,” chants Ruby as she musters the nerve to scare them off; but will it work?
- Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon. Meet Herb, a dragon who knows how to stay true to his values even in the stickiest of situations. When he is captured by the castle’s knights in armor, vegetarian Herb is faced with a difficult decision: will he eat meat in order to save his own life?
Early Independent Readers:
- The Terrible Chenoo. Discover what happens when a brave woman and her husband are kind to a savage and terrible Chenoo. Instead of letting themselves be scared of this man-eating monster, they feed him caribou meat, provide him with clothes and make him snug and warm in their teepee. Can they melt his frozen heart?
- The Abominable Snowman. Ramay lives with his mother in the high mountains of the Himalayas. He is lazy and never helps at home; he would rather spend his days dreaming. His Mum is at her wit’s end. One day, she tells Ramay to go away and he is not to come back until he has mended his ways. What will become of Ramay as he sets out, and whom will he encounter along the way?
- The Feathered Ogre. This Italian tale tells how Pírolo, the King’s youngest gardener, sets out on an impossible quest which frightens even the bravest of the King’s knights. Can he steal a magic feather from the back of the terrifying feathered ogre who eats tasty boys and girls for his supper?
Advanced Independent Readers:
- Little Leap Forward. Experience this coming-of-age tale that brings to life the time of the Cultural Revolution. A young boy growing up in the hutongs of China discovers the heartache of loving and having to let go when he captures a bird, only to discover that she will not sing in confinement.
- The Snow Queen. An exquisitely illustrated retelling of the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen. An evil troll creates a mirror which reflects the bad and ugly sides of people. Shards of its glass enter a young boy, causing him to reject his loving family and best friend Gerda. Helped by kind strangers and guided by her warm heart, Gerda makes the perilous journey to rescue her friend from the icy palace of the Snow Queen.
- The Adventures of Odysseus. As Odysseus fights to find his way back home after the long and brutal Trojan War, he has to endure harrowing ordeals and adventures, and come to terms with devastating losses. Storytellers Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden’s graphic retelling breathes new life into this great classic.
- Bear About Town/L’Ours dans la ville. From Monday to Sunday, Bear is busy round and about town: buying bread, running errands, going to the gym and meeting his friends. This bilingual edition includes vocabulary words in French and English and is perfect for classroom or home learning.
- Cerdota grandota. Follow an inquisitive pig as he asks all kinds of barnyard animals a barrage of questions. The rhyming, question-and-answer text presents opposites and animals in a colorful farmyard setting. (Spanish language edition)
- Los tres chivitos Gruff. Join the three billy goats gruff in a lively romp as they trip-trap over a rickety bridge, take on a hungry troll, and journey to where the grass is greener. The repetitive text in this simple story imparts the all-in-it-together message. (Spanish language edition)
Barefoot Books Summer Sale!
The annual Barefoot Books summer sale has begun, and runs through August 13th. Nearly 100 products – including all of those described above – are discounted, making this a great time to stock up for birthdays, baby showers, and holidays. Order at www.barefootupstate.com, or through Amy directly for free delivery/shipping. She can be reached at email@example.com. Host a Barefoot Books home party, and get your books for free!