Posts Tagged ‘Barefoot Books’

Write a Review Wednesday: Lin Yi’s Lantern

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week I reviewed Hammond‘s new release The Secret Life of Princesses (all age) written by Virginie Hanna and illustrated by Cathy Delanssay. This week my kids are in the mood for a little Chinese culture, since Chinese New Year is just around the corner (Feb 14), so we’re reading Barefoot Books Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Story. It’s written by Brenda Williams and illustrated by Benjamin Lacombe. I have to thank Rebecca at Barefoot Books for my review copy.


Lin Yi is excited about the Moon Festival but first he must help his family prepare. He has to go to the local market to buy items for the family’s picnic: moon cakes, star fruit, rice, yams and peanuts for Uncle Hui. If he barter’s well, Lin Yi can use the money left over to buy a new red rabbit lantern for the festival. And boy would he like one.

At the market Lin Yi barters well, even his mom would be proud. Now he’s able to buy his lantern. But wait, he’s forgotten something — peanuts for Uncle Hui. Lin Yi now has a difficult decision: buy the red rabbit lantern that he so desperately wants or the peanuts for Uncle Hui liked he promised his mom he would get.

Even though the Moon Festival isn’t until the fall, my kids loved reading about it. Lin Yi’s Lantern gave the kids a peek into a great Chinese festival, like that of Chinese New Year. Brenda did a great job having Lin Yi repeat his shopping list as he travelled through the market. As we read the story my kids started to recite his also. When Lin Yi decided he was ready to buy his lantern, my kids were quick to point out that he forgot to buy peanuts. They loved being part of the story.

For added enjoyment the book includes Uncle Hui’s retelling of the Moon Fairy legend, plus a brief description of market life in China. Since most of the story took place in the market as Lin Yi bartered to save enough for his prized red rabbit lantern, this added a nice extension to the story. It took a fictitious account and added the reality of chinese life.

But I must admit the part my kids enjoyed most was the instructions to make a chinese lantern. After we read the story the kids made their own Chinese lanterns, even if they weren’t red rabbit lanterns, and enjoyed parading around the house with them. These will make great decorations for our Chinese New Year celebration.

You can add Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Tale to your home library by visiting your local bookstore or If you’re looking for other great kids books, read through some of the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: Driving my Tractor

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. After a break for Christmas, I’m back with my weekly reviews. To kick off the new year I have the fun (and musical) Driving my Tractor (age 2-5) by Jan Dobbins and David Sim. I have to thank Rebecca at Barefoot Books for my review copy.


Travel with a farmer and his tractor as he picks up various farm animals along his route. The story is written in a fun rhyme and includes a lot of repetitive text making it easy for kids to read along as well as predict what comes next. The farmer picks up animals in increasing numbers, one black-and-white cow, two grey donkeys and so on all the way up to five brown chickens. The text includes descriptors for each animal and also includes animal noises which makes it a fun and interactive read.

My kids noticed that as the farmer travels his route, the seasons on his farm change. You see wheat being harvested in the summer, apples being picked in the fall, a blanket of white in the winter. My seven-year old also picked out the two bunnies that seemed to appear on every page. Now the kids love to point them out as we go from page to page.

The illustrations also add to the fun, child-like feel to the story.

But if you were to ask my five-year old son his favourite part of the book Driving my Tractor, he’d say it’s the singalong CD, performed by acclaimed children’s performer SteveSongs. We actually listened to the CD before the book and my kids loved the song. Now when my son reads the story, he actually sings it. Having the story in song also helped my son with his reading, he knows the story and can figure out what the words are. The CD also includes a musical version of the song without the words incase your child wants to do his own performance. You can hear a sample of the song on Barefoot Books website, plus they have an animal puppet printout to help you and your kids act out the song.

Take a ride with a farmer and his tractor

You can add Driving my Tractor to your home library by visiting If you’re looking for other book suggestions, read past Write a Review Wednesday posts.