If you want to raise curious readers, it is important to surround them with books that keep their interest, and one of the best book stores for this purpose is Barefoot Books. Barefoot Books sells some of the best children’s books to help encourage imagination, foster diversity as well as captivate young minds, and their unique books are both colorful and full of flavor.
Once a year the Barefoot Books catalog arrives in my mailbox, and it is like a treasure box full of adventure and magical stories. This year I got the opportunity to check out some of my favorite books from the catalog, and as always Barefoot Books impressed beyond my family’s expectations.
This summer my goal has been to teach my children about some of the classics that have impacted generations before us, and we have also been studying about our very mixed family heritage.
The Barefoot Book of Buddhist Tales by Sherab Chodzin and Alexandra Kohn especially impressed my sons, as the Buddhist stories are full of wisdom and lessons of life that can be incorporated into their own lives. Through Buddhist tales from India, China, Japan and Tibet, children are challenged to think about life, as the stories touch on generosity, compassion, life and death.
As an example of the stories in The Barefoot Book of Buddhist tales The Living Kuan Yin tells the story of Po-Wan, who is so generous with his wealth that he ends up as a poor man himself. When Po-Wan seeks out on a journey to find out, why he has become so poor, he ends up finding an even deeper level of compassion that makes him a wealthy man in more ways than one.
Another story called Angulimala The Brigand tells the story of how Buddha is able to convince a brutal murderer to become a monk and take responsibility for his bad sins in order to truly become completely fearless and contented.
The Buddhist tales turned out to make quite an impression on my boys, and they especially loved the Indian stories because of their own Indian heritage.
I Could Be , You Could Be by Karen Owen and Barroux is a story of imagination, as a young boy and girl goes on an exciting adventure while pretending to be anything they want to be. The colorful illustrations are attention to details emphasizes on the depth of children’s imaginations, and it sends children on their own imaginary adventure. My two-year-old son enjoyed this book, and his six-year-old brother actually read it out loud to him without any problems.
I chose The Adventures of Odysseus by Hugh Lupton, Daniel Morden and Christina Balit for the simple fact that I wanted my kids to learn about Greek mythology, and because I want them to be able to recognize the significance of the ancient Greek stories. I will admit that I was a bit apprehensive about whether or not my kids could actually keep the attention focused on the Greek stories, but my nine-year-old son especially turned out to be very interested in The Adventures of Oddysseus, and my six-year-old son followed along pretty focused as well.
The Adventures of Oddysseus is told in a language that makes it easier for kids to follow along, and it has made the stories reader friendly. This is a great chapter book for kids ages 9 and up, who are able to read on their own.
Arthur of Albion by John Matthews and Pavel Tatarnikov is another great chapter book for tweens that will help give them a deeper recognition of the tales of King Arthur. It starts of with the tale of the sword in the stone, and then it continues with one exciting story after other about chivalry and courage before it ends with the quest for the holy grail.
Matthews is clearly a knowledgeable scholar, as this book is a great retelling of the King Arthur tales. It is written in a simplified language that makes it easier to understand for tweens, but it has been done without losing the medieval spirit.
Tatarnikov keeps the illustration in the same medieval spirit, and the somewhat somber illustrations are a great edition to the stories of King Arthur.
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Disclosure: I received complimentary children’s books from the Barefoot Books for the purpose of writing a review and hosting a giveaway. No monetary compensation has been received, and any opinions expressed above are based solely on my experience with the Barefoot Books.