Barefoot Books- review and contest for you!

I love books- can you tell?   🙂
And I truly, truly wish I had found this company much earlier then now.  Have you ever heard of Barefoot Books?  If you haven’t- I’m going to tell you all about them right now!  (And if you have, but have never purchased a book from them- I hope you will pick one up soon!)

Barefoot Books is an independent publishing company that devotes itself to cultural and environmental education and awareness.  Started by two moms (Yay for Mom-Based-Businesses!) who wanted their kids to grow up reading books that let them explore, imagine, ad learn while becoming respectful of the planet and the diversity the world has to offer.  Barefoot Books has writers and storytellers from all over the world that write these books to help shape our children into global citizens who care about the planet and people around them.  (Um hello- where was I?  Under a rock?  How could I not have, like, the entire collection by now?  These are perfect for not only my kids, but my classroom!)

These books have led to such great conversations, and even into lesson plans.  While reading “We’re Riding on a Caravan“, the kids learned about ancient travel and how things were transported from one place to another before modern conveniences.  We added geography, map skills, and a little history lesson about Central Asia and China, and where silk came from.  We talked about China and emperors, and worked this into our “Chinese New Year” theme.  Bringing out some Chinese character stamps for the animals representing one’s birth year, a map of ancient China, and paintbrushes and ink to make our own characters- we had lots of Chinese activity and lessons that week.  We even played a game that is a re-creation of one from ancient China.  We also discussed some of the countries surrounding China and that the caravan traveled through.   We built a tiny “yurt”, talked about warrior horsemen, and of course, play-dough “terra cotta soldiers”.
That was all from ONE BOOK!  We built a week of fun and activities out of that one book.  By the way, these books are BEAUTIFUL!  You will love them- the artwork is lovely.   AND???  They care, a company that cares!  Second YAY!  🙂  They plant a tree for every book purchased, and they are going green with their publishing! 

An Adventure on the Silk Road

Join the caravan for an exciting yearlong trek along China’s ancient Silk Road. Following the rhyming, treasure-filled story are informational endnotes about the history of the Silk Road, the story of silk, important cities of China, and a full-spread map.
Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Helen Cann

We also received Kangaroos Have Joeys .  The book is again, just beautiful, and Little Man loves that he can “read” it to me.  (Really, with me, LOL.)  It is a sturdy board book, and it teaches children the names of baby animals.  

Learn the names of twenty-four animals and their babies in this simple rhyming text. Notes at the end enhance the experience, with facts about the habitats of each of the featured animals.
Ages 2 to 6 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Philippa-Alys Browne

I highly, highly recommend Barefoot Books.   
You can purchase your own selection HERE.  
You can also enter to win below.  Here is how to enter!

Here is how to enter-

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Leave me your email so I can contact you if you win.  

Please visit Barefoot Books and tell me your favorite book or what you like about Barefoot Books  🙂

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OOO, so many ways to win! Good luck!

DISCLOSURE: A product sample was provided for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed in this post are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited by law.  Open to US shipping addresses only.  Limited to US residents; 18 years old and above.  Sponsor is responsible for providing and mailing prize. Ends April 2,  2011.  

The Key to the Kingdom

The Key to the Kingdom by Jeff Dixon is about a pastor, Grayson Hawkes (referred to as Hawk) who gets a call to meet an old friend and goes on the adventure of his life.  This friend just happens to be an Imagineer at Disney, and gives him a strange key and some cryptic messages.  Hawk ends up on a wild scavenger hunt through Walt Disney World, giving us some interesting glimpses into the life of Walt Disney himself.  This book has some great fun facts about Walt Disney and Walt Disney World in it as well.  Hawk is a connoisseur of all things Disney, and spends a  lot of time at the theme park.
His friend goes missing, and Hawk is led by two tour guides- one real, one not-so-real, on a crazy hunt to figure out what comes next. 
Chased by security and random “bad guys”- will he figure it out and save his buddy?
OK, this book is a bit cheesy.  But it did get my attention, and keep it.  I was wondering what came next. 
This is definitely Christian literature, and good for all ages.  It would also be a good read for any hard-core Disney fans out there. 

“Grayson Hawkes learns how imaginative and elaborate Walt Disney World is when he accepts an invitation one sunny day from a trusted friend landing him in a world he never knew existed. Barely escaping a late night encounter, he finds himself desperately trying to solve a mysterious disappearance while trying to stay ahead of those who are chasing him. He navigates through the kingdom where knowledge of seemingly unimportant Disney facts and some divine help are the only way he can discover the lock that can only be opened by an ancient key. His world becomes even more complicated when he is captivated by mysterious woman, causing him to make a series of choices that takes his faith to the brink. Within the walls of Walt Disney World is more mystery than one imagination can contain. Here Disney Trivia is not a game; and the ancient key is the only way out!”

You can get a copy HERE, as well as on Key to the Kingdom’s website and Deep River Books.  And you can head on over to like Key to the Kingdom on Facebook and Deep River Books on  Twitter  🙂 

Happy Mouseketeering !

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review from the publisher and MamaBuzz.

5 Little Bunnies board book- review and CONTEST!!!

Just in time for Easter, I have the cutest little book for you! It’s called Five Little Bunnies, and it is a rhyming book aimed at kids up to age six. It comes with a CD of the story being read, plus 19 songs. The kids at the Pre-k really liked it, and Little Man LOVES his “fluffy bunny book”. He LOVES bunnies!
The book is pretty basic, teaching children the numbers and counting 1-5. But the illustrations are really adorable, and the kids live hearing the CD version after it is read to them. Twin Sisters, who made this adorable little book- are really into educational music, and take your children’s educational growth very seriously. Good news for moms of Preschoolers! (and Pre-K teachers, too, hehe!)

The songs are a sweet addition, and this is a great addition to any little one’s Easter Basket. I don’t know about up to six years old, but I think any kid up to age 4 or 5 would get a kick out of it.
And HEY MOM’S!! This book is ON SALE- for only $6.99! Total bargain, and a better Easter basket stuffer then a bunch of jelly beans!
You can order a cop of Five Little Bunnies HERE, and you can also enter to win one below!
Here is how to enter!

Mandatory entry
You must be a public follower on Google Friend Connect.
Leave me your email so [Read more…]

Day of Honey

A luminous portrait of life in the Middle East, Day of Honey weaves history, cuisine, and firsthand reporting into a fearless, intimate exploration of everyday survival.
In the fall of 2003, Annia Ciezadlo spent her honeymoon in Baghdad. Over the next six years, while living in Baghdad and Beirut, she broke bread with Shiites and Sunnis, warlords and refugees, matriarchs and mullahs. Day of Honey is her memoir of the hunger for food and friendship—a communion that feeds the soul as much as the body in times of war.

I loved, loved, loved this book. The book opens up in the USA, NY to be exact, right after 9/11. The author and her Muslim Arabic boyfriend were not all that popular with everyone at that time. But they marry and move to the Middle East, where the two report on war, peace, and food.
You can tell the author is passionate about food- she writes about it like it is her lover. Like they have a secret, [Read more…]

The Story Of Stuff

How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change
Americans have way too much Stuff , and way too much of it is toxic. That’s the message Annie Leonard has been spreading ever since her college days, and most recently in her short Internet film The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed by over 12 million people. But the film is only the tip of the iceberg.
To tell you the truth- this book was not a page turner. It got boring at times, but it was highly informative. From giving information about water usage in making clothing, to giving suggestions to how to get companies to recycle more, the book was definitely [Read more…]

God Gave Us the World- a truly beautiful book (review)

I recently got the chance to read a fabulous children’s book- God Gave Us the World, written by Lisa T. Bergren and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant.

Weather or not you are a deeply religious person, I think you will love this book. Why? Because I think this book is fantastic for everyone who has a child, and wants their child to grow up tolerant and loving towards others. You don’t have to even be a certain religion for this book- it just speaks about “God”.
This book is extremely well written, has a great flow, and lovely illustrations. It is all about a little polar bear who doesn’t understand why there are other types of bears in the world, why they live in other places, look different, and eat different foods. (Sound familiar?) The loving and thoughtful mother polar bear explains that God made the world, and made all the creatures in in. That we all love our homes and foods the best, because it’s what we know. There are some very wise and well written responses to some not-so-easy questions. I loved this book, I love the premise. It’s just so lovely! The fact that the Little Cub is questioning the colors and food choices of other bears is really interesting, and is helpful to let kids draw a parallel to humans. Should we all look alike, or are we beautiful because we are different? If we all looked the same and ate the same and lived in the same places and houses- would that be as much fun? Would it [Read more…]

The Dragon and the Turtle go on Safari- a review

The Dragon and The Turtle go on Safari written by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark and illustrated by Vincent Nguyen, is about a little dragon and turtle who go on a camping trip. They are a little scared, and must be brave! They have a few adventures, and tell each other stories to help one another feel better. Will they make it all night outside?

It has cute drawings and I like the camping out story. It was a little long, and I “lost” a few of the kids at the Pre-K, especially the younger ones. However, the very Irish dragon was a fun find, and that amused me, at least, LOL.

Padraig the dragon and his best friend, Roger the turtle are determined to spend the whole night outside. As brave explorers at the base of Mount Sillymanborrow, the boys use their imaginations to have fun while munching on crunchy baked bugs and toasting s’mores over their campfire. But when the sky gets dark and the sounds [Read more…]

Shmirshky, a review

New Book! This one is a little bit out of my “normal” reads, LOL, but informative nonetheless. It’s about women who are going through menopause, and pre-menopause. I’m a bit young for this now, but it is good to know what’s to come! It’s not like people discuss this stuff on the regular- though maybe they should. If all women go through some kind of menopausal issues- why not at least understand what’s going on?

It’s a but much at times- the author is trying really hard to be funny and witty, and sometimes it’s just like GROAN, ok, yep. Got it. And the words Shmirshky and Erlick are used every other second. But it is not a dry read, it’s not boring, and that is saying something when the topic is as “touchy” as this one. If you are going to read a book on the subject- and we all should- give this one a try. It’s a quick read, and like I said- you won’t be bored. It also has some good suggestions for going to the doctor and things to watch out for. Kind of like a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting….the Menopause Years” (LOL)

Are you a woman? Or do you [Read more…]