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The Barefoot Book of Children: Book Review & Activities

“Children’s books should reflect their readers and the world they live in. We live in a world full of all different kinds of people, and if we want to educate children meaningfully and completely, we have to be teaching them about all different kinds of people.” – Kate DePalma, co-author of The Barefoot Book of Children.

Barefoot Book of Children

Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes; however, all opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

The Barefoot Book of Children is one of our favorite picture books. The beautiful hand-painted illustrations, the important messages it shares, and the fascinating facts about children around the world make it a book to be enjoyed over and over again.

The book’s front and back covers are a great place to start. The detailed artwork portrays the theme of our interconnected world and provides lots of opportunities to share individual observations. One of the last pages of the book offers several questions to ask – such as, “Find the child writing a postcard. Can you see where he sent it?”

The Barefoot Book of Children begins with, “Every morning, millions of children open their eyes and start another day.” The reader is asked to identify where they are in the world – what they see, hear, or smell.  (Time to bring out the map or globe if you haven’t already.)

From there, the book covers topics that we all share including families, feelings, faith, bodies, clothes, food, homes, and hobbies. The authors engage the reader with specific questions to answer, “Which languages do you speak? Which ones do you recognize?”

Be sure to take the time to enjoy and discuss the illustrations for each section.

Barefoot Book of Children

There are 15 pages of educational notes at the end of the book to go further with each topic.  Read more about different types of homes (a ger in Mongolia, a stilt house in Malaysia), different ways to play (cricket in India, kendama in Japan); different foods to eat (cuy chactado in Peru, hummus in Syria), and lots more.

Barefoot Book of Children

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Barefoot Books also offers:

Discussion Guides 


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About Barefoot Books  Founded by two young mothers in England in 1992 and based in Cambridge, MA, Barefoot has published 600+ books for children that encourage discovery, compassion, creativity and global awareness. Their first app, Barefoot World Atlas, has 4 million downloads and their YouTube Channel has over 70 million views. Most importantly, over nearly a quarter of a century, Barefoot has put more than 20 million books into the hands of children around the world. With a mission to “Share Stories, Connect Families, and Inspire Children,” Barefoot is now leveraging its vibrant, timeless family brand with a social selling model that empowers women entrepreneurs.