Posts Tagged ‘Publisher- Barefoot Books’

Carnegie and Greenaway Awards: The Gift

Carol Ann Duffy and Rob Ryan (illustrator)

In a quiet town, of a sort not found nowadays, lives a beautiful young girl. One summer day, she visits the woods with her mother and father. While her parents prepare the picnic, she seeks out buttercups and daisies for a flower necklace. As she does so, a wish forms in her mind – and to her surprise, a silver haired woman appears, ready to grant it.

This book looks at the whole life of a girl who one day went for a picnic, found a clearing and decides that this is where she wants to be buried. It sounds quite morbid but it really isn’t. It’s a book that celebrates life and all that happens within it. The story highlights the main event in the girl’s life, there is little to no character development, in fact we never even find out the girl’s name, but that doesn’t matter. Part of the magic of this book is that it could be about anybody. All through the book, and therefore her life, the girl returns to the clearing. She plants flowers and creates stone towers in order to really make the place her own, until she returns there last, in her dreams, on her deathbed. The ending to this book is really bittersweet. This is another that it’s quite difficult to put an age too. It is aimed at younger children, but I think it would take a certain amount of emotional maturity for them to really understand and enjoy it.

The illustrations are a delight. They are in a single colour on each page and the colour reflects the mood of the page, which almost gives it a dreamlike quality. Whilst there aren’t huge amounts of detail in specific objects and people there is so much going on within the pictures. This means the book can be read time and time again and the reader will still find new things within the pictures. This is a big plus point as the nature of the story means that it’s difficult to get really involved with it so it was good that I found that the pictures really brought it to life.

Verdict: A bittersweet story of the circle of life backed up by truly delightful pictures.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Barefoot Books Ltd
Publication Date: October 2010
Format: Hardback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book, Death
Age: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British Book
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There’s a Cow in the Cabbage Patch

There's a Cow in the Cabbage Patch (A Barefoot Board Book)

Stella Blackstone and Clare Beaton

All the animals in this mixed-up farmyard are out of place. What shall we do? ask the farmer’s children and, of course, there’s an easy answer. Collage art in felt, stitched with antique fabrics, buttons, and other bric-a-brac, perfectly illustrates the playful text.

This is the story of a group of farm animals who have all gone somewhere they shouldn’t! The farmer and his wife are wondering how they are going to get them all home again.

Both my girls (aged 3 ½ and 17mths) really enjoy this story. It is simple, and the repetition of parts of the dialogue mean my older one can join in from memory whilst her little sister is engaged in trying to make the relevant animal noises for each page – the donkey is her current favourite! It has generated much discussion about not just animal noises, but what they eat, where they live and what they need to be happy.

The children love the pictures, each page is a picture and the text is written on the top. As a parent I love the pictures as they are so creative; they have been made from sewn felt and then photographed. It makes it a bit different from any other picture book we have.

On top of all this it has a great little ending that makes Mummy chuckle!

Verdict: A lovely book to share and enjoy over and over again!

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Barefoot Books Ltd
Publication Date: March 2006
Format: Board Book
Pages: 24
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Picture Book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
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