barefoot books - monster seriesI can’t tell you how impressed I am with the girls’ reading, I had no idea when they started in reception last year they would be one year later picking up their own books and reading them on their own.

What’s even nicer to watch is, it is a pastime they enjoy.

We had to accompany daddy in the car the other weekend to take his bike to be serviced and both Alice and Bessie picked up a Dr Seuss book to read in the car with no prompting from me.

Reading and writing is one of the biggest gifts you can give your child and we have read to the girls since the moment they could listen starting with the hardback books and moving on to stories of all kinds.

It’s no secret that we love Barefoot Books in our house and we’ve recently been sent some more books through to review which we are very pleased to share with you.

Rona Long-Teeth 

This is a story from Tahiti retold by Fran Parnell. The Monster series is especially designed for Early Readers, the vocabulary has been carefully chosen to create short simple sentences. All of the books in the series have exciting story lines. The story goes

Hina’s mother Rona Long-Teeth takes good care of her. But when the moon is
full, Rona eats the juiciest-looking humans she can find. When Hina learns the
truth, she teams up with her neighbour Monoi to stop her monster mother’s
people-eating ways.

This happened to be the first book that Bessie picked up on her return from school and seeing the new books on the table. I was amazed and #proudmumalert really pleased to see her start reading by herself and tucked up on the sofa she worked her way through the best part of the book before teatime. The book has two large flaps either end which doubled up perfectly as a bookmark which pleased Bessie no end as she was worried she’d lose her place.

Although the tale may sound scary (it’s a Monster series) it’s beautifully illustrated and there’s a thread of goodness running through that obviously comes out triumphant. 

Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail

The last of the six books in the Barefoot Books Monster series. This is a story from Chile also retold by Fran Parnell. We read this one together all three of us snuggled on the sofa and I loved it.

One day, a frustrated king flies into a rage and turns his mischievous daughters
into oranges. The gruesome monsters Grim and Grunt decide they’d like to get
their hands on the princesses, and bully their little brother, Grizzle-Tail, into
stealing the girls. Who will rescue the princesses from the monsters’ clutches?

 We chatted about the book after reading it and talked about the emotions you feel as you read, there is disbelief, anger, there is hope and loyalty, there is love and kindness. There are also useful pointers to watch out for the spiteful people around us and know how to deal with them.

The books provided us with lots to talk about and think about. 

Head over to Barefoot Books on Facebook to stay up to date with everything that is happening and take a look at their vast selection of stories for all ages on the Barefoot Books website.

Here are the reviews of the books we have read and loved 

The Real Princess, The Prince’s Bedtime and My Mama

World Atlas Barefoot Books

The Gift by Carol Duffy and Rob Ryan

The Kite Princess

Animal Stories

Disclosure: We were sent copies of the above mentioned books for the purpose of this review

the girl with a brave heartI absolutely love it when Barefoot Books send us one of their books to review because I know I’m going to be reading a beautiful story with gorgeous illustrations in it and The Girl with a Brave Heart is no exception.

This story is a tale from Tehran by Rita Jahanforuz who is also a well known and highly respected singer in Israel. she tells the story of Shiraz who doesn’t think of herself as brave at all but one day she drops her ball of wool from the balcony and has to muster all her courage to go and retrieve it. Her ball of wool lands in a neighbour’s garden and the old lady turns out to be a very unusual person indeed.

My girls were gripped to the story line and as I put it away and kissed them goodnight they asked if we could read the same story the following evening too which shows just how much they enjoyed it.

This book also carries a message to young readers, one of being a nice person, a kind person and these qualities will one day be repaid whereas if you choose to be a spiteful and selfish character this may also come back on you.

The hardback version of The Girl with a Brave Heart retails at £10.99 or you can choose the paperback for £5.99

Barefoot Books is the brainchild of Nancy Traversy and Tessa Strickland who started in 1992, they were young mothers with four children between them. They wanted to create meaningful, creative careers where they could make a difference in the world, while also keeping their children at the centre of their lives. For over twenty years, they have created bright, colourful books for children that combine beautiful artwork with captivating storytelling. “Our books capture the imagination, spark curiosity, inspire creativity and instill a respect for cultural, social and ecological diversity.”

Disclosure: Barefoot Books sent me a copy of The girl with a brave heart. they didn’t ask me to review it, I did because we loved it so much

Yay, it snowed and how much fun did we have – a ton although our snowfall was only a couple of cms. Luckily our back garden is on a slope which at this time of year makes the perfect sledge run – see the tracks in the top photo?

We’ve all been ill this week (not daddy), the latest bug we’ve passed around and shared so, broken nights waking to try and soothe the girl’s, sore throats, headaches and general flu like symptoms.

I’ve volunteered at school to listen to the reception readers once a week, my day will be Wednesday afternoon and I will encourage the littl’uns to read, sound their phonics and start blending their words, I’m really excited about this.

I’m well on the WeightWatchers case, they’ve sent me a ton of products to try and so far they’re delicious especially the Double Chocolate Brownies – yum! (5 ProPoints each) but I’m not losing the lbs I need too :/


Sunday – After the snow – slippers check out my new babies and I made a Banoffee Pie

banoffee pie

Monday – Alice off school with a high temperature but by afternoon she’s already feeling better, we take some cool photos in the garden of flowers in the snow and I read her some excellent books for children as we snuggle on the sofa.

TuesdayShellac nails, at the end of 2 weeks they’re starting to peel off and once off, my nails are very weak and brittle :(

Wednesday – I miss the BritMums meet up in London thanks to feeling under the weather myself and bad weather plus Alice is back at school but not 100%, it might be better to stay close to home. I make a Beef and Onion braise WeightWatchers recipe. I swim 30 minutes in the morning :)

Thursday – My bridal shoes arrive from Girls of Elegance but they’re too small so I’m going to have to send them back and exchange them for a bigger size which is a bit of a pain. The table plan is defined, the menu ready to print and the place cards have arrived ready to write. I am getting VERY busy.

Friday – My new bookcase from Ikea arrives in the morning, I collect Paul’s ring from Bluewater, I do some work, collect the girls and then assemble my Expedit On My Own. I have to call in my neighbour to help me lift it but once in place the girls are eager to put all their toys on every shelf within their reach

Expedit bookcase

A hard week, a busy one, one I’m glad it’s over. Have a great weekend all, I’m off to the London Secret Room today to meet another 20 odd bloggers and eat chocolate, I’m imagining a fantastic Silent Sunday tomorrow.

Barefoot Books sent along two great books from their Animal Stories collection which are stories of animals from all over the world so not only can you read a fascinating tale to your child at bedtime but these books allow you to expand and talk about the world we live in and other countries too. The first book is the first in the series.

the tortoises gift

The Tortoise’s gift

It’s a story originating from Zambia designed for early readers, it’s retold by Lari Don who is inspired by her love of myths, legends and fables – three areas that fascinate me too, beautifully illustrated by Melanie Williamson it’s a tale of famine, all the animals are starving and they need to wake up the wonderful tree because it can feed them even when there is no rain. The fiercest animal tries but returns from his arduous journey only to have forgotten the name, the strongest animal tries but meets the same fate, many others also try to save their fellows from famine but simply forget the name and the tortoise saves the day proving that once again the underdog can prove to be a winner. I love it and the girls always listen attentively to this story I think they’re quite pleased that all the big guys forgot and the little guy saves the day :)

never trust a tiger

Never Trust A Tiger

Another excellent story that originates from South Korea. It’s a simple story that shows how some people in life aren’t what you believe them to be. Smiles can be deceiving and in this story the tiger proves to be a nasty piece of work asking for help to be saved and then wanting to eat his saviour. The eat or not eat debate goes out to passing animals to pass justice on this delicate affair. Should the tiger be allowed to eat his saviour or not and the day is saved by a hare who proves to be extremely clever.

The girls love how the hare manages to outwit the tiger and it makes them giggle at his sorry fate.

I would thoroughly recommend these stories, they can be read as a bedtime story although longer than what we normally read still not too long.

45% discount on Barefoot Books – don’t miss out

Head over to Barefoot Books and choose some fabulous books with 45% discount

Disclosure: We were sent these books for the purpose of this review

The Kite PrincessNew year new book to read and the next book from Barefoot Books that I want to highlight is The Kite Princess written by Juliet Clare Bell, illustrated by Laura-Kate Chapman and narrated by Imelda Staunton.

If, like me you have mini princesses in your home then they will adore this beautifully illustrated book about a young girl who doesn’t want to sew and walk with books on her head to be a ‘proper’ princess like her parents insist. She wants to run and play and fly in the sky.

The story follows how, without disobeying her parents, she manages to follow her dream and shows them to look at life differently too.

My girls adore the colourful dresses in this book and the clever princess. They have also asked daddy for a kite!

We haven’t listened yet but the book does include a CD of the story narrated by Imelda Staunton, seeing as a recent addition to their bedroom is an old CD player that was kicking around, I might try leaving the CDs handy so they can listen and choose themsleves what they’d like to listen to.

The hardback version with CD costs £10.99 and the paperback plus CD costs £6.99. This book has definitely got my girls’ seal of approval

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of the book for the purpose of this review