I was surprised to find that I couldn’t find a single book that really appealed to me – the few slightly nature themed books were, well, boring. So I’m back to my favourite book publisher – you know, I didn’t become a Barefoot Books Ambassador for no reason! Their range of books simply are right up my street. While I struggle to find a single good story with a nature theme in a city library, I don’t know which book to recommend first from the selection of Barefoot Books I’ve got at home in my little bookshop.
So today it shall be The Story Tree. We like trees. We climb them, feel them, do bark rubbings, collect leaves, twigs and fruit. We draw them, imagine them, find out what’s special about them. We shelter under them and watch the sun play light games through them. We pick up leaves in autumn and let them rain on us, or crunch them with our feet.
The Story Tree brings together seven fairy tales from different cultures and retells them so that they are easy to read out loud, or in fact, to tell orally. They are all repetitive in nature, and it’s easy to pick up the story after reading it once. Ideal to take with you into the woods, because, well after reading it once, you may not need the book to tell the story! In fact, the book is ideal for oral storytelling sessions, and the stories are so suited to it that even an inexperienced storyteller will be able to do so.
The illustrations are engaging the child’s imagination, and it’s like a walk through landscapes of the world, through the paths in the forest that many a folk tale is set in. The tales include classics but also new tales which in spite of their different origins, are all strangely familiar. They have beautiful morals of sharing, recycling and treating the world and people around us with respect.
The book comes with a storytime CD and it’s suitable for children 3 to 7 years of age. It’s available in hardback and paperback.