There are times when books come across my desk that are just so lovely, I need to take a moment out of my day to share them with anyone (everyone) nearby. The Barefoot Book of Children by Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma and illustrated by David Dean, is one such book.
This is straight up a MUST for your children. The book is newish (published October 2016), and is absolutely gorgeous to look at. But more than that it tells a story about all of the children in the world. Beautifully explained and incredibly engaging, there is just something nice about this story.
From where children live, to what they do to play, to how they work, to how their families are structured, from who helps them in their communities, what they eat, what they wear and how they celebrate, this book has it all. It is quite literally a brilliant children’s almanac of world culture.
The use of vocabulary is unpretentious. The book veers away from making broad statements about one culture or another, the same with families, or with lifestyles. It is simply a showcase to demonstrate to children that there are many different ways to live.
The dialogue used is guaranteed to make young readers reflect upon how they live, and come to understand that we as people are all alike, but not quite the same. It’s a great message to send out to the world and a fantastic way to do it.
Let’s take a second to congratulate David Dean on illustrating yet another work of art. The pictures are fantastic. There are such a broad array of people shown that the illustrations are much like an ‘I Spy’ or ‘Where’s Waldo’ of characters and places. The diversity of people represented is nothing short of brilliant and is not limited to skin color or ethnicity, but also encompasses multi-racial families, people with disabilities, the old and young, various religions, different sexual orientations and people speaking different languages.
This is a book that I immediately checked-out of my library for my daughter. I anticipate nothing short of an amazing story reading time with her as we discuss everything between the covers of this book.
Highly recommend this one!
Recommended ages are 5-8 years but I have no qualms about taking it home to my 4 year old.