It’s fall! That means: Pumpkin spice latte and new fall releases! It’s so exciting to stock up on books for the winter season. Today our poor UPS guy had to carry some heavy book boxes. I ordered a copy of “Raising a Hero” by Laura Numeroff, the author of “If you give a mouse a cookie”. A portion of the sales of this book support Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization providing assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities. Finja’s preschool will attend a fun online author event in November, so I ordered advance to give the kids a chance to prepare and come up with some fun questions about service dogs and writing books for Laura. Plus, Finja loves dogs, so do the other kids in her play-based preschool, which also is the home of a sweet dog named Oakley!
In the last weeks I was super excited for one other release: “The Barefoot Book of Children” by (you can guess it) Barefoot books. I’m not active as a Barefoot ambassador anymore, but was informed about the new inclusive book with the hashtag #allchildren some months ago. To be honest, I couldn’t wait! Living in a multicultural environment I never had the feeling I had to “prepare” Finja and explain about inclusion, had to prevent racism and discrimination. But the worldwide happenings of the last few months and some really disturbing experiences of friends and colleagues showed that it’s never too late to make #worldcitizen out of your children… Because “despite our different clothes and homes and languages – we are more alike than different”, as Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the US fund for UNICEF, states on the cover of “The Barefoot Book of Children”.
Today the book finally arrived! Finja and I got right to work. She was fascinated by the colorful pages, asking questions, explaining and discovering nonstop. With 64 pages “The Barefoot Book of Children” was far more extensive than I thought, so I had to finish the book alone after bedtime – but I’m sure Finja will request to read the last pages first thing tomorrow!
What can I say? This book is everything I hoped for and more. Every child has a story and “The Barefoot Book of Children” gives kids the chance to tell their story while reading about other cultures and everyday life of other children around the globe. No matter if it’s living space, food, clothing, bodies, families, injuries, skin color, play or feeling – the author and editor did a good job describing the diversity of children’s’ lives in different parts of the world. The text isn’t artful or poetic, but it’s depth surprises again and again. “You are a part of the world. You are also a world of your own. This is were you belong”: An important part of the story comes from the reader: The colorful illustrations full of details will hold every reader’s attention and give the opportunity to explore and add one’s own story to the stories told.
Long story short: “The Barefoot Book of Children” is a book you have to experience yourself. Right now, this book is just one of the few inclusive, multicultural books I know of. I hope many more will follow and make the world a more diverse for our children! BTW, I’m sure you’ll love this interview of co-author Kate DePalma in the Barefoot-Blog: “How do you make a book for all children?”
„The Barefoot Book of Children“
Written by Tessa Strickland, Kate Depalma
Illustrated by David Dean
Publisher: Barefoot Books