Barefoot Books – The Story Tree – A Review!

 Barefoot Books – The Story Tree – Tales to Read Aloud

At this time of year, I start looking thinking about ….(dare I whisper it……) Christmas.  It comes around all too quickly and every year I decide I’ll be more organised and get all my presents bought and wrapped by December 1st.  That has always been the plan!  Carrying out the plan is a different matter entirely and usually I end up panic buying stocking fillers in pound shops and grabbing stuff that will ‘do’ from high street shops at the last minute.  To my great shame, I bought my husband a meercat last year.  He’s not a fan of cuddly teddies, or meercats, I just lost it whilst wandering around Toys r Us in late December.  So, my point is –   I publicly declare…this year will be different!  No more meercats!

My first task is to put together the kid’s stockings – In particular, I love buying new books to roll up and slot in the top of them.  I used to treasure the ones I got in my stocking when I was a kid because they were ‘special’ ones that Father Christmas had brought for me.  Even now I can remember reading stories about ‘Pip’ the fairy, written by Enid Blyton, in my mind’s eye I can still see it poking out of the top of the old grey woollen stocking my sister and I used to tie at the bottom of our beds.  I always think books are wonderful presents that last the test of time, if they are loved and appreciated they are read and re-read and passed on through the years.  Plastic toys get broken, chocolate gets gobbled, but books tend to last.  

If you want to get on with organising Christmas in advance too and if you have kids, maybe you’d like to consider Barefoot Books?  I have in my possession a copy of ‘The Story Tree’ Tales to Read Aloud retold by Hugh Lupton, and illustrated by Sophie Fatus which comes complete with CD and absolutely gorgeous illustrations.  Personally I think this would roll up perfectly and fit in the top of any child’s stocking and make for a very lovely gift.    It also comes with a CD at the back of the book, so you can tuck your children into bed on the night of the 25th and they can listen to the dulcit tones of Hugh Lupton reading the tales, leaving you to crawl downstairs and drink a well earned glass of sherry.

This book is written for children under five apparently, but my daughter is beyond that age and still thinks this book is fantastic.  I read a few stories and both she and her brother actually sat still, didn’t try and attack each other for once, and actually listened to the tales and commented on the illustrations.  A little island of calm for a couple of minutes at least.  

There are 64 pages, and 7 stories originating from all around the world.   There’s the ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ from Norway, ‘The Magic Porridge Pot’ from Germany, Monkey-See, Monkey-Do from India, ‘The Sweetest Song’ from Africa / America, ‘Little Red Hen’ from Blighty and ‘The Blue Coat’ which is a Jewish tale.   Every single page is illustrated with people and animals and places, all in great detail.  The perfect bedtime book!  And I’m not just saying that because I’m reviewing it, it genuinely is.

If you would like a copy you can click on this link to access the online shop : Barefoot Books.    Speaking from personal experience, the delivery is quick, the packaging appropriate, and the price reasonable.  Start your stocking shopping early!

This month Barefoot Books (through this link only) are also offering to donate 10% of all profits to the NSPCC – in addition to this every person who places an order this month will have their name put into a hat and will have a chance at winning a £20 voucher of their choice.

One lucky person can have this book free of charge though!  I have the review copy to give away.  All you need to do is comment and follow this blog by clicking on the ‘Sign Me Up!’ button. Please remember to put your Twitter or Facebook name on here.  To make the comments more interesting I’d like you to mention on of your favourite ever stocking presents.  Books aside, I used to love licorice swirls with sweets in the middle, they made my tongue go black which I always thought was amazing!  Simple pleasures eh!

I’ll choose a lucky winner on the 1st December.  :O)


22 responses to “Barefoot Books – The Story Tree – A Review!

  1. Review
    Lovely review, will be calling in to look at Barefoot books for some ideas, my girls love reading and this one sounds ideal for Lily (5)
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Lovely giveaway. I remember as I child my favourite stocking filler was a dot to dot book, I used to get one every year, and then I used to put them in my children’s stockings, and if ever I am blessed with grandchildren I will buy them for them too xx @jadlgw

  3. What a lovely prize. I used to love getting a chocolate orange in my stocking and I put them in my childrens stockings nowadays. @ladynottramp

  4. Blog
    Even as a 40 year old I still like to peer into books written for children as there is a still a child inside me, give me a copy of the tiger that came to tea or the hungry caterpillar & I am back there again in the classroom sipping on my free milk as I read an adventure that takes me far away to a happier place.

  5. Great review – I’d not heard of these books before.
    My favourite stocking filler when I was a kid was always the selection box. I suspect my mum always put one in as they are so big and take up most of the stocking, therefore there is no need to be creative and think of much else to put in there!
    Thanks for the comp. x

  6. Review
    I’m sure my daughter (just turned 4) would love that book so I thought I’d reply.
    The thing I remember from my stocking is there was always a new toothbrush in it. Funny, for sure it was not my favorite present, yet it’s the one ingrained in my memory! I don’t think I ever got a book as my mum was never a reader (no idea where my fanaticism for books has actually come from).
    I think books always make nice presents and I admit with my own children I have gone back in time and added nuts and fruit. It dilutes the chocolate somewhat.

  7. Lovely giveaway! We used to also get a toothbrush in our stocking! When I grew up and was a student that was one thing I really looked forward to….I had no idea how much toothbrushes cost!! πŸ™‚

  8. Lovely giveaway!
    Looks like a lovely little book!!! I used to love getting some little make-up or pamper treats in my stocking… especially as it was my Dad’s job to do them… so I know he had always put a lot of thought into what he put in, and went to a lot of effort!

  9. Gidders1 I don’t think I had a stocking, I do them now for my girls, but I have no memory of having one. Need to ask my mum to check though eek! I also loved books. Especially Enid blyton, I use to ask mum if I could go to boarding Schl like naughty Amelia Jane. Maybe that who I didn’t geta stocking hmmm Amanda x

  10. What a lovely sounding book! My favourite stocking filler as a child were the little lip balms for children that Avon did, in various fruity flavours. I liked the cherry one best, always got a couple each year and I just wanted to eat them they smelt so good!

  11. Thanks!
    I loved the little soft toy that would have its head pokeing out of the sock!
    I am @missingsleep on twitter!

  12. Thats a lovely review and I’m sure this is the sort of item my girls will have sticking out of their stockings as Santa is so thoughful like that!

  13. This looks like a book I would love to read to my granddaughter – please enter me into the draw

  14. The Story Tree
    What a great book and now Grace getting to the age of sitting with us and letting us read to her, would be a great gift. Please enter me @phyllgerry

  15. I can haz book?
    Dont have kids so there is more deserving people to pick, but I love books and even more, free books.
    In my opinion, not that you asked, the best ever childrens book is ‘Badgers Parting Gifts’ its about an old badger who gives his personal things away before he dies and is a great way towards getting children to understand the loss of a grandparent or loved one.
    Anyhoo, good luck everyone

  16. This sounds like a great book for my grandaughter πŸ™‚
    One of my favourite thing to find in my stocking was a real grown up tin of toffees ..kept me quiet for ages :o)

  17. Giveaway
    A very lovely give away you got going on, my son loves his reading every night we sit there before bed and read 2 books, one in which i’ll read and the other he reads, his 4 years old and only just started to learn words, our all time favourite book has to be ‘Boris’ we love the hand puppet that is on it and we have so much fun using Boris the hand puppet towards using it for different voices.
    Besides all that my all time favourite thing that i used to get in my stocking has to be the colouring book and pencils, your never to old for a bit of colouring in πŸ™‚
    Kayleigh Tumber

  18. Hello, Id love to be entered into the giveaway please. My favourite stocking gift, is one I had to make for my daughter. She had three things on her Christmas list last yr
    1. A Selection Box
    2. Plectrums (Grandma was buying her a guitar)
    3.A spell book- a REAL spell book. It took me ages, but really loved making it for her.

  19. looks a lovely book.

    My fav stocking filler was a minature pack of snoopy pencils and even though I am in my 40s now I must admit I still have them:)

  20. Great book, hope we win for lil Grace. Stocking fillers fave from past was Toblerone. They were ‘posh’ chocolate when I was little. Like Cheese balls lol. Whatever happened to ‘posh’ Christmas stuff, shame you can get most of it all year round now and its all cheap.

    @phyllgerry xx

  21. Great review, just popping along to their website now for prezzie ideas, loving the discount this weekend πŸ™‚
    We always used to have an orange and a walnut at the bottom. In those days they were only available at Christmas so it was a real treat x

  22. Hiya Kay.

    Its @ juliejesta on twitter here.

    My fav stocking fillers were Satsumas! We never had these normally, just horrid real oranges *yukky*

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