Pumpkin Pie Play Dough Recipe

As we approach the end of November, I sincerely hope you've experienced happy times around your holiday table. I am thankful for you, my readers. I wanted to share a kiddie recipe with you that is loads of fun around my house for little ones to make. Along with reading a good book to my Grandson indoor activities is a must! Here is one of my favorite November recipes for toddlers! Books and activities just seem to go together!

Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...Image via Wikipedia

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough

You will need a few household ingredients to make this wonderful concoction:

* 5 1/2 cups flour
* 2 cups salt
* 8 teaspoons cream of tartar
* 3/4 cup oil
* 1 (1 1/12 ounces) container pumpkin pie spice
* Orange food coloring (2 parts yellow, 1 part red)
* 4 cups water


1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Cook and stir over medium heat until all lumps disappear.
3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth.
4. Store in an airtight container or a plastic bag.

* Remember:

Pumpkin play dough may smell good but it is not meant to be eaten!

Happy Reading!

~ LadyD

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Book Fair at SoCal Montessori School

Fundraise for your school with Barefoot Books!

girls with hats
girl at microphone
boys at microphone
Last Friday the 13th was no ordinary day for me. I loaded up my car with Barefoot Books, puppets, and puzzles and headed to the Fallbrook Montessori school for their first book fair with Barefoot Books. I must say, I was so impressed with the large turnout of families that came to support this event. The book fair was a huge success! Thank you Fallbrook Montessori for such a warm reception. I had a fabulous time and I enjoyed meeting each and every one of you! Visit their website at:


I would say the most popular book on the teacher's wish list was "Off We Go To Mexico". The school reached their goal and they will be receiving free books for their classrooms. If you would like to earn money working from home by marketing and selling carefully crafted children's books, CDs and gifts for children from Barefoot Books, simply leave a comment here on my blog

Let me tell you a little bit about the book Off We Go To Mexico.

Off We Go To Mexico

Off We Go to Mexico!
An Adventure in the Sun
Travel to Mexico and discover its many wonders, from the amazing monarch butterflies in the Highlands to a mariachi show in the village square. The rhyme and lyricism of the text is complemented by end notes about the history of the country, national fiestas, and a glossary of simple Spanish vocabulary.

book illustrations

Ages 4 to 10 years

Written By: Laurie Krebs

Illustrated By: Christopher Corr

paperback book illustration

This beautifully illustrated book is available in paperback format, plus there's a Spanish edition for $7.99 The hardcover edition will cost $16.99 Not only does it teach Spanish but it teaches the geography, history, facts and phrases of Mexico. Most importantly it teaches the Mexican cultural heritage. This is a great educational book!

Happy Reading!
~ LadyD

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Cleo's Color Book by Stella Blackstone

Books displayed on shelf
We had a fun time at Christ the King Lutheran Preschool Book Fundraiser. I set up a display of Barefoot Books, puppets and puzzles in their library room. I would say that one of the most popular books purchased at the event was "Cleo's Color Book". I'd like to tell you a little about the book so that you can see why it is popular with the little ones!
book fundraiser
school fundraiser
Cleo's Color Book

Cleo's Color Book
Come along with Cleo as she discovers colors in the world around her. Rhyme and repetition drive the learning layers, while two double-page spreads at the end reinforce the color recognition and even teach simple color mixing.

Children's Literature

Cleo's book has an excellent rhyme scheme and good vocabulary (a mix of more difficult-to-pronounce words, such as bicycle and submarine, with common and easy-to-say words like ball, small, and dog). Children will enjoy their visit to Cleo's world; it is full of bright colors and cute characters. Parents, librarians, and educators will especially appreciate three things in the book. One, the language is very fluid, fun, and easy to read aloud. Two, each item being described (ball, bicycle, flower, etc.) is repeated towards the end of the book in a series of small close ups on the items. Educators can test the listeners' reading comprehension by asking them to point out, for example, the moon and submarine. Three, the book comes with a guide at the end (complete with more charming illustrations) for creating new colors. Combining a pair of red socks and a yellow sun creates an orange cat, while mixing a red ladybug and a white glass of milk makes a pink heart. If children enjoy this title, be sure to refer them to the companion books featuring Cleo the Cat.

Ages 1 to 4 years

Written By: Stella Blackstone

Illustrated By: Caroline Mockford

Product Description:
Red, orange, yellow...discover the colors with help from Cleo! This poetic rhyming journey will teach youngsters how to recognize and create colors on their own! This vivid picture book follows an orange cat named Cleo as she spends a day looking at the colors in her home and neighborhood. Sometimes accompanied by a boy and sometimes alone, Cleo explores while rhyming verses comment on what she sees. Simple and effective in exploring the basic concept, this appealing picture book offers a brief narrative and, for children who are ready, an accessible introduction to colors.

From the Book

“Here is a bicycle, shiny and red./Here is a flower with round yellow head.”

* My Review:

Winning Combo: Objects and Color
Educational, Colorful

What makes it a winning board book is that children can relate to a red bike, a black kitty, a blue submarine and a brown teddy bear. Towards the back of the book, you will find a colorful picture chart of the objects with the name associated with their color that reinforces language development for preschool education. Step into the beautiful world of color in reading Cleo's Color Book!

* My Daughter's Review:

Teach Simple Signs, Too!
Easy to read, Animals, Colorful, Great illustrations, colors, language, naming objects

This is a wonderful book! Colorful, lovely rhyming text with simple everyday objects. Great fun for using with language development and teaching simple signs as well as colors! My three year old still loves following Cleo as she explores her colorful world.

* Preschool Book Review:


* From School Library Journal
PreS-Fans of Cleo's Alphabet Book and Cleo's Counting Book (both Barefoot, 2003) will be happy to see the kitten return. This time, the rhyming text and bright, uncluttered illustrations offer a joyful introduction to color. During the course of a day, Cleo sees various objects, including a red bicycle, pink ice cream, and an orange ball, ending with the white moon shining over the town. The book concludes with a spread that shows what happens when colors are mixed; for slightly older children, this is a fun extension. A perfect selection for toddler programs.-JoAnn Jonas, Chula Vista Public Library, San Diego, CA

* Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
This board book may be purchased for $6.99 at:

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Babushka: Classic Russian Folktale

church craft fair

I had a fabulous time at the Grace Presbyterian Holiday event that was held last Saturday. When I first arrived, all the vendors were busily preparing their tables and I set up outdoors. Barefoot Books received a very warm reception from the people and I was so pleased to have introduced these wonderful children's books to the community of San Diego North County.

books for sale at church bazaar

One particular sale that stood out in my mind was meeting a darling woman from Poland who was attracted to the book, Babushka. All of my hardcover books were placed on one side and paperback books with story time CDs on the other. I believe the customer was attracted to the size of the book, its shape and definitely its bright, colorful cover.
This sweet Grandma opened up the book and started immediately reading the books contents.


* About the book:

Meet Babushka, a woman who is so busy focusing on the little things, that she hardly notices the miraculous events going on around her. This touching Christmas story shows that the more you give away in love, the more you will receive.

Ages 3 to 7 years

Retold By: Sandra Ann Horn

Illustrated By: Sophie Fatus

* Product Details:

Pub. Date: September 2002
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Format: Hardcover, 32pp
Age Range: 5 to 7
ISBN-13: 9781841483535
ISBN: 1841483532

* Annotation

While traveling, Babushka gives her gifts for the Christ child away and thinks she has nothing left to give the baby, only to discover that everything she gave away, she also gave to him.

* School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1-Babushka is so obsessive about cleanliness that she tells an angel who comes heralding Jesus's birth that she'll have to wipe her feet. When the three kings invite her to join them, she says she does not have time. "What about the washing up?" she asks. She finally decides to make the journey alone and packs some gifts for the baby, which she gives away to needy folks along the way. When she realizes that she's empty-handed and starts to return home, she hears someone call her name. It's Mary welcoming her into the stable, and Babushka finds the baby surrounded by all of her gifts. She decides to hold him instead of tidying up. Based on a Russian folktale, this version is charmingly told but it is hard to see how Babushka's cleaning mania is connected to her generosity, or what lesson she is supposed to have learned at the end. The richly colored, stylized acrylic paintings feature Russian-style clothing and buildings as well as palm and fig trees. An attractive but flawed retelling.-E. M

* Step Behind The Story:

* About The Author

Sandra Ann Horn is the author of several children's picture books and storybooks, among them The Dandelion Wish and Babushka. The Dandelion Wish follows two young preschoolers as they discover that their wishes come true when blowing on a dandelion. School Library Journal reviewer Judith Constantinides commented that Horn's "imaginative and lyrical text is paired with lovely impressionistic illustrations radiating light and sunshine," and will no doubt "captivate readers with its rhythmic words, as the pictures do with their beauty."


* What I Like:

Babushka is a story filled with love and warmth. It will teach children to not only be kind to others but as well to take time and appreciate the beauty that the world is filled with. The story is very well written and will teach its young readers the invaluable lesson of kindness and gratefulness. Sophie Fatus' illustrations are marvelous as well.

Babushka is an endearing Christmas story, a classic Russian folktale. It helps readers recognize the big picture-- to forget about the little things like tidying up the house or polishing the silver. Instead, Babushka learns a wonderful lesson of love and appreciation that everyone can benefit from. Celebrate life, not the gifts. A book to add to your holiday favorites!

Happy Reading!
~ LadyD

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One Moose, Twenty Mice by Clare Beaton: A Repetitive Refrain

One Moose, Twenty Mice

Look for the little orange cat on all the pages... what fun! Where most young children’s books only count to ten, “One Moose, Twenty Mice” counts all the way up to twenty. Clare Beaton does it again! The illustrations of bright felt appliques in this book are filled with color and texture, sure to captivate the eyes and mind of any child.

One Moose, Twenty Mice

Count the animals from one to twenty while searching for the cat in this lively hide-and-seek selection that introduces animals like frogs, whales, monkeys, ducks, hens and elephants.

Ages 1 to 4 years

Written By: Clare Beaton

About this title: This hide-and-seek book helps young readers to count a menagerie of brightly-colored felt animals, from one moose to 20 mice. Children will encounter ladybirds, monkeys, dolphins and tigers. There is also the added challenge of finding the mischievous ginger cat hiding on every page.

Purchase One Moose, Twenty Mice, along with a free activity page download:

What fun for my Grandson, enjoying the pile of Fall leaves. How many leaves are there? More than twenty, that's for sure! Fall into a good book by reading this delightful repetitive refrain encouraging readers to look for an orange cat! Number Sense: K-2

Happy Reading!
Barefoot Books - LadyD

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You and Me by Giovanni Manna

I love to hold board books and lap books that come in all shapes and sizes. The durable card stock that Barefoot Books uses is a plus for parents and grandparents purchasing quality children's books for babies to 3 years old that will hold up and last for some time! Lap books are fun for the toddler to turn the pages more easily. In addition, sometimes you will find less words on a page and wonderful illustrations to look at. Children seem to love to point to all the details on the pages!

You and Me

* Book Description:

You and Me

Imagine yourself in a variety of situations along with the boy and girl in this simple rhyming text. As they play an imaginary game of opposites and contrasts, the children explore valleys and hills, light and dark, and hot and cold, but find that in the end, it's best when "You're you, and I'm me."

Ages 1 to 4 years

Written By: Stella Blackstone

Illustrated By: Giovanni Manna

book illustrations

* Publisher’s Description:

The imaginary games of a boy and a girl form the basis of this enchanting picture book about opposites and contrasts. As the two children play together, they picture themselves as all kinds of characters, animals, landscapes and moods. “I’m a circle, you’re a square; I’m a tiger, you’re a bear.”

* What I Like

The words on the pages are so very simple to read but the over all concept of opposites is brilliant! Plus each sturdy, durable page has a detailed border encompassing a gorgeous detailed picture of rich colors to see. This sweet book makes a perfect gift for anyone.

* Reviews

"This is so much more than a book of opposites. It sends a loving message that what sets us apart from one another is also what makes us compatible. I love how the two children, on opposing pages for each set of opposites, are always looking at each other from across the binding of the book. You and Me is also a book about imagination, as it personifies shapes, weather, animals, and states of being. In the end, the comforting message is about our individuality and friendship.
Giovanni Manna's illustrations make this a perfectly dreamy book! Snuggle up!"

"This book is great for kids just learning to read because of its simple text and storyline. The fact that the text rhymes and reads like a long poem is also helpful to young readers. The full page illustrations are very colorful and describe exactly what the text is saying, and will keep young readers engaged in what they are learning."

Celebrating difference, but above all celebrating relationship, You and Me is a very special picture book that will captivate pre-school audiences but is also sure to attract plenty of adult fans.

Happy Reading!
Barefoot Books - LadyD

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