The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories and Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories

Thanks to publisher Barefoot Books, we have a new collection of dance stories from around the world!

The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories

Say it with dance! This gorgeous collection will enchant young dancers with stories from eight cultures, including the Polka in the Czech Republic, Limbo in the West Indies and the Waltz in Germany. Book with CD editions include stories read by actress Juliet Stevenson.
Ages 8 and up
Written By: Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple
Illustrated By: Helen Cann
Narrated By: Juliet Stevenson

Hardcover with Story CD $23.99

A Melting Pot of Nonfiction and Folk
The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories is a collection of eight delightful folktales from eight cultures. Ranging from humorous and lighthearted to a bit more serious, each story has a unique plot and elicits a different emotion from readers. What holds the stories together is the common theme of dance that runs through them.

In one well-known tale from Germany, twelve princesses dance so much that they wear holes in the soles of their shoes. In a tale from Japan, the beauty of a sky maiden's dance bring tears to the eyes of a fisherman. And in another tale, from the Czech Republic, a young peasant girl forgets all of her responsibilities as she dances hand-in-hand with a fairy in the birch woods. 
Here is a list of all eight stories (and the cultures/dances from which they are derived):
  • "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (Germany/Waltz) 
  • "Robe of Feathers" (Japan/Noh Dancing) 
  • "Making the Stone Smoke" (West Indies/Limbo) 
  • "The Shepherd's Flute" (Spain/Flamenco) 
  • "Dancing with the Birch Fairy" (Czech Republic/Polka) 
  • "When the Goddess Danced" (Egypt/Belly Dancing) 
  • "Tam O'Shanter" (Scotland/Scottish Reels) 
  • "The Little Bird Who Went Dancing" (Mali/Malian Dance)
 The front matter includes an introduction to each folktale and a brief history of dance from the culture in which the story is set. The back matter contains more specific information about each dance, including a general description, notes on costumes, and even instructions on learning the dance in most cases. The book also comes with a CD, narrated by British actress Juliet Stevenson, in case you prefer to sit back and have the stories read to you as you enjoy the beautiful illustrations by Helen Cann.

Because of its length and the content of its stories, the book is being marketed for children ages 8 and up. The book is quite magical and the illustrations have a fresh, new approach.
Do you have a favorite dance story?
A great story in the book, the one from Mali, is a charming tale of a girl, a boy who loves her "as long as the Niger River flows," and how dance eventually brings the two of them together. As with all the stories in the book, the large illustrations add color and vibrancy to the pages, woven throughout the text.  With dance stories from around the globe, these vibrant illustrations include traditional dress appropriate for each culture represented, and the information about learning each dance is a fun introduction for those inspired to try. What a great gift for anyone who loves music and movement! 

Photo Credit:

Starting today (and running through December), you can visit Barefoot Books on Facebook, share a video or photo of your own little dancer, and enter to win a copy of the book. (A winner will be chosen by random.) Please contact with any questions.

Another beautiful hardcover book from Barefoot Books:

The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories

Watch the curtain rise on these dramatic and beautiful ballets. The stories in this collection feature magic and comedy, drama and adventure, and are accompanied by a brief history of classical ballet, as well as historical details of the composition, choreography and early performances of each ballet. Book with double CDs edition includes stories read by actress Juliet Stevenson.
Ages 6 and up
Written By: Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple
Illustrated By: Rebecca Guay
Narrated By: Juliet Stevenson

You can purchase book hardcover books w/ story CD for $23.99 each and don't forget today is the last day sale of 20% off.

Stop by and see our new catalog. The Barefoot "logo" is clickable, as the actual catalog pages are not.
Shop Catalog

Best and happy dancing,
-- LadyD (Barefoot Books Ambassador)

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Star Power of The Potato and The Gigantic Turnip

 A great picture book for kids that comes to my mind around this time of year is Barefoot Books "The Gigantic Turnip" by the author, Aleski Tolstoy and illustrator, Niamh Sharkey.

Here's a little bit about the book:

The Gigantic Turnip

Find out what happens when the old woman, the old man, and all twenty-one animals on the farm try to harvest a rather large root vegetable. This well-loved Russian tale uses humor, counting and repetition to appeal to beginner readers. Book with CD editions include story read by Ellen Verenieks.
Ages 3 to 7 years

Written By: Aleksei Tolstoy
Illustrated By: Niamh Sharkey
Narrated By: Ellen Verenieks

Paperback Book $7.99 My Book Store

This popular picture book is available in Spanish as well for the same price. 

Starting Thursday (weekend special offer) enjoy 20% off, plus get free shipping on orders of $60 or more at

Photo credit:

Nana's Mashed Turnip



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Place turnip and potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook 25 to 30 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, and drain.
  3. Mix milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and sugar with the turnip and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Mash until slightly lumpy.
  4. Transfer turnip mixture to a small baking dish. Dot with remaining butter. Cover loosely, and bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove cover, and continue baking about 8 minutes, until lightly browned.

Turnip Recipe

As I was gathering up some ingredients for our Thanksgiving preparations, I wrote this article about the "humble potato" and called this a befitting ode to the "lowly spud".

For many centuries now, the potato has been nominated in its supporting role shared with the spotlight on the main bird, the turkey, celebrated during Thanksgiving meals everywhere around the world. 

The potato comes in the form of over 5,000 varieties to choose from. I once planted the tubers and grew the potato in my garden and I have seen many varieties at our local farmer’s markets such as Brown Russets, Yukon Golds, white fingerlings, tiny egg-shaped new potatoes and red, purple, even blue potatoes. They all taste good and can easily be gobbled up but watch out for the green ones, especially those that have been sitting in the sun for quite awhile because they tend to have a bitter taste.

Goodness of the Potato 

Yes, a potato comes power-packed with lots of good nutrients, mostly more potassium than a banana to keep your heart and all of your cells happy. Potatoes are high in fiber to help with digestion and support your immune system with Vitamin C. You will find the potato is high in Vitamin B6 for your metabolism, plus the iron gives you needed energy. The potato is a good carb and is low in fat. Keep in mind that most of the nutrients are just under the skin so scrub lightly and enjoy.
The Russet Burbank potato is a large brown-skinned, white-fleshed variety of potato. It is commonly used in French fries in fast food restaurants. When used for making potato chips, it results in a dark-colored chip due to caramelization, its sugar content being higher than that of the Maris Piper potato, more commonly used by chip makers. It is also of high antioxidant activity, which is rare for starches.

Potato Power Types 

I thought of some of my favorite ways to prepare potatoes and maybe you would like to add to the list as well.

1. Smashed-Mashed Potato 

Have you ever mashed a potato and added sour cream? Tasted mashed potatoes with caramelized shallots or scallions? Then there’s mashed potatoes with a kick, adding Horseradish!

2. Cheesy Cheddar Potato Boat 

If you are on a diet or perhaps you are board with a plain baked potato and would like some suggestions in entertaining kids with a new recipe, the toppings for a baked potato are endless. Beginning with a fluffy oven baked potato adding sour cream and green onions to bacon bits and cheddar cheese shredded and melted on top. This is a meal of its’ own. Some dieters prefer cottage cheese and mustard in place of all the butter. Also, there is the Twice Baked Potato with Horseradish.

3. Pan-fried Potato
Whether you cut the potato in thin rounds, French-fry sticks or grated for hash browns, with a little bit of oil in the skillet you can serve up a hot dish that is satisfying with a choice of catsup or salsa for dipping. How about those garlic fries?

4. Grilled Potato
5. Oven-Roasted Potato and Scalloped Potatoes

6. New Potato (with lemon-butter) 

7. Potato Pancake , Potato Hash and Potato Bake Casserole with Bacon topping. 

8. Latkes 

9. Spanish Potato Tortilla 

10. Potato Salad, German Potato Salad, Nicoise Salad with Yukon Gold Potatoes adding Fennel. 

Being Greek, one of my favorite Mediterranean dishes is roasted vegetables in olive oil. Adding a cubed potato or two along with bell peppers, onion, garlic, zucchini, and carrots is a delicious, healthy meal to serve, with or without meat. Remember to add the oregano and I guarantee everyone will be drawn into your kitchen by the wonderful aroma and gathered around your table, family and guests will be complimenting and thanking you for this one.

Creativity with the Potato
If you are a “Potato Picasso” and enjoy making crafts with children, undoubtedly you have experimented with block printing. Perhaps you have added carrots and cut out paper feathers for your funny looking character, Mr. Spud Turkey. Do you remember placing toothpicks around your potato and standing it upright in a glass jar or vase in anticipation and joyful expectation of having your very own “sprouted potato” vine or bush? I do!

History and Origin 

Do you remember going to the root cellar to gather up some winter squash or a potato or two to bring up to the house? I was thinking about the starchy, tuberous crop called the potato, also belonging to the nightshade-family and its origin. Perhaps our story should begin with, “Once upon a time a lowly, tuberous vegetable growing wild in the Andean Mountains became the amazing, powerful potato. It seems the early beginning of the potato has genetically tested origins from Southern Peru, where potatoes were first domesticated between 3000 BC and 2000 BC.

The birthplace of the "Irish" white potato that we eat today is in the Andean Mountains of South America, at heights of 4,000 to 6,000 feet. The potato was cultivated more than 6,000 years ago near Titicaca Lake, on the border between PerĂº and Bolivia.

Once established in Europe, the potato soon became an important food staple and field crop. The potato was brought to Ireland, in 1565 as one story goes while others say Sir Walter Raleigh first grew it there in 1585. But lack of genetic diversity, due to the very limited number of varieties initially introduced, left the crop vulnerable to disease. In 1845, a plant disease known as late blight spread rapidly through the poorer communities of western Ireland, resulting in the crop failures that led to the Great Irish Famine. Approximately 1,500,000 Irish people died, while another 1,000,000 emigrated, primarily to the United States.

The potato remains an essential crop in Europe. The potato is the world's fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. China is now the world's largest potato-producing country, and nearly a third of the world's potatoes are harvested in China and India.

What is amazing to me is that the easily-grown plant has the ability to provide more nutritious food faster on less land than any other food crop, and in almost any habitat.
Potatoes have been one of mankind's most important food staples for the past millennium. Throughout Latin America, the potato still goes by the Quechua name PAPA.

So, for this wonderful holiday with grateful hearts and thankful for so many blessings, may you eat and enjoy the power of the potato, while perhaps later on towards the end of the day, turning into that “couch potato.”

I have been gardening for 37 years. I enjoy eating from the abundance of the land and sharing good, healthy fruits and vegetables with family and friends. 

Wishing you many blessings around your Thanksgiving table!

-- Love, LadyD
“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis Amplify

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Book Review of Eye of The Bear by Naida West

Book Review: Eye of The Bear by Naida West

 About The Author


Naida West, Ph.D., lives with her husband on their little ranch in California’s “Gold Country.” The ranch lies alongside the Cosumnes River, a primary setting in her novels.
Born in Idaho, she spent her early years in small towns and on farms and ranches, often living with relatives. Among the many schools, she attended a one-room schoolhouse in Divide, Montana. She lived in a variety of homes where the inhabitants ranged from Methodist, Mormon, Catholic to agnostic — all opinionated. They were conscientious objectors, military patriots, alcoholics, and religious teetotalers. They raised sugar beets, potatoes, sheep, and cattle; they practiced law, the Christian ministry, and played piano-bar. Naida learned to stand back and observe. In all locations she wandered freely through open fields and hills and along streams. Greatly influential was her grandmother, Elizabeth Symon Smith (the subject of Symon’s Daughter) — a teacher and lover of English literature...

For inspiration and stress reduction Naida walks the trails along the Cosumnes, where history seems to come alive beneath her feet. That and the beauty of the natural world unblocks the flow of words. In 2010, she completed the 3rd novel in her California Gold trilogy, Rest for the Wicked.
Naida has managed the Authors Booth at the California State Fair for 13 years, and has spoken at, and led, writers conferences and workshops. A lively speaker, she often headlines conferences in the three fields of California history about which she has written: Native American/Euro-American contact period; Gold Rush; and turn-of-the-century Gilded Age.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 630 pages
  • Publisher: Bridge House Books (January 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965348741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965348744
Naida West has finished the third novel in her California Gold trilogy, Rest for the Wicked. It has taken me awhile to finish her first novel, Eye of The Bear and a big thank you to Bridge house Books for providing this book for review. I have now passed the first novel onto my husband because we both LOVE California history. 

About the Book

The story begins in the 1820s around the time of California's pre-gold rush days.  Naida covers the history of the West, including true events, real people and thought-provoking content.
I was aware of the conflict between and among the Native Americans, the Spanish/Mexican secular rulers, and the religious zealots of the early California Missions but not to the extent that Naida discloses to her readers with tremendous research and excellent representation of what really happened in fictional form. Perhaps said best in one word... injustice!
Chapter Listings:

Tracks to Another World
The Circle Widens 
"Becoming strong on earth is a lesson in not floating, in becoming less transparent, in becoming an animal shape against the sky."
From: The Endangered Roots of a Person - Wendy Rose, Miwok

Los Americanos
Walking Into Fire

"The men wore human skins
but removed them at night
and fell to the bottom of darkness
like crows without wings.

War was the perfect disguise. 
Their mothers would not have known them,
That's why fire is restless
and smoke has become the escaped wings of crows."
 From: "Skin" - Linda Hogan, Chickasaw

For more information, visit Naida's website,

My Review

Big thank you to Bridge House Books in Rancho Murieta, California for sending a copy to LadyD Books for review.

Eye of the Bear is not what I expected! Naida West has done a superb job in weaving historical fact with fiction and creating the first of 3 great novels about the California Native Americans.

In the back of Naida West's novel is a list of glossary terms. You will learn about the Neophytes. During the time of establishing Missions along the California Coast and inland, the captured Indians, called neophytes were baptized Indians into the Catholic faith. The details of their cruel torture and punishment while confined to the mission walls and way of life was difficult for me to read and almost unforgivable by the Black Hats. This is a fanciful name for the Mexican soldiers who lived in the presidios of San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco.

Not only does Naida West explain the Spanish terms in her book such as  Tulares, a specie of giant hollow-stemmed marsh grass known as Tule Fog but Naida's main character, Grizzly Hair becomes her main fictional character. The author's huge efforts of research greatly shows in her ***** star novel, Eye of the Bear. If you want to learn the stories of the Indians and their life style, plus the stern, cruel taskmaster's of the mission, like Father Narcisco Duran then you must purchase the book!

Naida reveals so much of what really went on in the missions, stuff you would never learn in school nor have any idea... the land that you walk on was once inhabited by these dear people.

Naida West did a masterful job weaving fact/fiction with California history that I had not known before. A wonderful wordsmith, beautiful job. Naida deserves much praise for  Eye Of The Bear.
I'm looking forward to reading her next book in the series.
Eye of the Bear
* * * * * *
Barefoot Books offers Board Books about Bears.

Bear's Busy Family

Meet the rest of Bear's family and learn about all of their busy activities. Smell, touch, taste and sound are all familiarized in this rhyming text, and there is a full spread family tree at the end.
Ages 2 to 6 years 

Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Debbie Harter
Barefoot Books offers Spanish Books for Kids.

Familia activa de Oso

Bear's Busy Family

Meet the rest of Bear's family and learn about all of their busy activities. Smell, touch, taste and sound are all familiarized in this rhyming text, and there is a full spread family tree at the end. (Spanish language edition)
Ages 1 to 4 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Debbie Harter
Paperback $6.99
* * * * * 
Polar Bear Puppet
Barefoot Books Offers Bear Hand Puppets

Polar Bear Puppet

Brrr! This plush polar bear hand puppet features movable head and arms, a soft vinyl nose, and rubber claws, and is fashioned with ultra-soft, micro fiber fabrics.
Ages 5 to 8 years
Produced By: Folkmanis 
Puppet $20.99 

Black Bear Finger Puppet

Wander through the forest with this cuddly black bear. This finger puppet is six inches long.
Ages 3 to 7 years
Produced By: Folkmanis 
Puppet $7.99

As always,  for browsing for children's picture books and looking at the Folkmanis puppet collection, visit My Bookstore
Thanks for stopping by.
-- LadyD

 November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. Writers from all over the world attempt to complete a 50,000-word first draft during the month of November. Not all writers are supportive of NNWM. Here's another viewpoint:

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis Amplify

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Tooth Fairy Puppet and Garden Fairy Stamps

Folkmanis Puppets are for kids!

Fairy Tooth Puppet

Find the perfect spot for a lost tooth! This fairy finger puppet has purple gossamer wings, long curly hair and a special pocket in her shirt, just the right size for a lost tooth.
Ages 5 to 8 years
Produced By: Folkmanis 
$11.99 My Marketplace

Barefoot Books offers professional puppets to children made by Folkmanis. One of my favorite finger puppets is the Fairy Tooth Puppet. She is gorgeous. Barefoot Books offers a variety of animal finger puppets as well.
Buy Finger Puppets 

 Now, if you like fairies, you will want to see Dulemba's  exclusive line of stamps, especially cling stamps - including a new line of Garden Fairies! For more information on digital stamps, visit: 

Learn how the story was born and how it all came about, you know coloring book images plus stamps makes a huge connection. Read about it here

I love this one... an Autumn Fairy "thinking of you" card made by Sharon Harnist. For instructions on how to make this card, visit her site Paperfections.

Over at Copic Creations I found these lovely creations that go with the fairy theme; amazing cards.

If you're looking for fairy coloring pages, I recommend Dulemba Coloring Pages 
She has very nice images of reading fairies for little girls and granddaughters to color and yes, adults, too!

"This week the stamping world gets to fully appreciate Elizabeth's early childhood love of Fairies with the introduction of 3 Fairy Sets designed by Elizabeth: Quiet Moments, In the Moonlight and Bee Ride.  Her illustrations are a joy to color!  They just make you smile!!"

 This beautiful card reminds me of the Bee Puppet, a hand puppet from Barefoot Books.

Bee Puppet

Buzz along with this handcrafted puppet. The plush bee is designed atop a glove that becomes the wiggly legs, and sheer wings and antennae adorn the top.
Ages 5 to 8 years
Produced By: Folkmanis
 $14.99 Buy Hand Puppet

The Fabrics of Fairy Tale

Stories Spun from Far and Wide

Weave your way into seven folk tales that explore the creation of wonderful worlds, each illustrated with beautiful fabric artwork. Each story is preceded by a two-spread introduction about the history behind the fabric and the way it is made and used. Book with double CDs edition includes stories read by Tanya Robyn Batt.
Ages 7 and up
Illustrated By: Rachel Griffin
Narrated By: Tanya Robyn Batt

 In addition to these beautiful fairy children's books and Dvd/Cd, Barefoot Books offers Fairy Postcards
for $1.00

Fairy Tales Postcards Pack

Venture to the land of beloved fairy tales with this pack of postcards. Featuring six different Nicoletta Ceccoli images from The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales, these cards offer a beautiful way to correspond with customers to thank them for orders, remind them of upcoming events, and much more!

Fairy Dress Up

If you know of a wee little one who loves to dress up and be a fairy, then you will want to learn more about Sarah's Silks.

Aqua Fairy Silk Head Garland

Complete the fairy dress up with this matching silk aqua blue head garland. Includes elastic headband and is adorned with streaming ribbons and a satin rose.
Ages 3 to 8 years
Produced By: Sarah's Silks 

Mint & Aqua Reversible Fairy Silk Skirt-Toddler Size

Imagine a world of fairies and pixie dust! This reversible mint green and aqua blue silk skirt is the ultimate dress up and is sized perfectly for toddlers. Includes elastic waist band and is adorned with satin roses.
Ages 2 to 4 years
Produced By: Sarah's Silks 

Pink and Lavender Reversible Fairy Silk Skirt- Regular size

Dress up as a majestic princess! This reversible pink and lavender silk skirt is the must-have for a young princess and is sized perfectly for older children. Includes elastic waist band and is adorned with satin roses.
Ages 4 to 7 years
Produced By: Sarah's Silks

I love "the world of fairies" and hope you have enjoyed your visit at Barefoot Books- LadyD.
Online Bookshop

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis Amplify

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3 Steps To Video Making and Marketing

A Sony TRV-950 mini-DV digital video camera. 3...Image via Wikipedia
Three Steps To Add the Power of Video to Your Website

1. Shoot Your Video
2. Upload It To YouTube
3. Link or Embed Your Video Broadcast

What should your first video message be? 

If a visitor stopped by your show room you'd take the opportunity to show them around. Do the same thing on your website or blog. When a visitor arrives, welcome them to your site with your instruction video. In essence, you want to show them around your "virtual Internet showroom."
Tell them how you're different and the benefits you or your products offer. If your site has links, then tell your visitor what information they will find if they follow those links.
I offer lessons and instructions online. I play the piano and offer certain music resources to take your piano playing to the next level.

Step 1: Shoot Your Video 

Set up your camera and position yourself about two or three feet in front of it and start talking. In the beginning, I used a digital camera and set it on a tripod. Then I set the camera on video and sat down and started talking.

Don't worry about what you will say, just start talking and recording. If you were a first time visitor to your website what would you be looking for and what would you want to know?

Don't worry about scripting out what you will say. Just talk off the top of your mind and don't be afraid to record several takes. The delete button is powerful and allows you to re-take the shot many times over.

Then watch them back and pick the best one. The exercise of being in front of the camera and just talking will help you perfect what you say. It will also help you get past your fear of being in front of the camera. By recording several takes, it will help you to look, sound and feel natural. And that's important! Remember to smile and just be yourself.

One of the greatest powers of using video in your marketing is that it gives your customers and prospects the opportunity to meet you face to face. Once you are happy with the take, put it up on YouTube.

Step 2: Upload to YouTube 

If you do not yet have an account go to and sign up for a free account. Once you have it set up, which will take a few minutes, connect your video camera to your computer and upload your video to YouTube. Most video cameras come with software that may require you to transfer the video to your computer before you can move it to YouTube.

The hardest part of the whole process is often getting the video off your camera. If you have trouble then you might want to consider investing in a video camera that is made specifically for putting video onto computer or uploading it to the Internet.

Step 3: Link or Embed Your video for broadcast. 

Once you have your video on YouTube you will find two different sets of Internet coding to the right of your video. The URL code lets you link people to your YouTube video and the Embedded code lets you place that video directly onto your Website.

I recommend you place your videos on your Website. Keep your visitors on your site rather than sending them away to another site. If you maintain your own Website then simply copy and paste this code onto your Web page. If you have someone who maintains it for you, then send the code to them. It can save you hundreds of dollars in getting video on your Website. The key is to just do it.

As a music teacher, I enjoy recording students playing their favorite songs and then sharing the link with family members and friends. I also have enjoyed making a video of pirate images and children's books with background music on one of my blogs.

Once you have put a welcome video on your website, there is a lot more you can do. Most importantly, put your website or blog
URL in the Description Box. That way you will be directing more traffic to your site and increase effective newsletter sign ups.

Indeed there is power in adding video to your website.

So, a company that has uploaded quality children's book videos to the public for viewing and then using the code to share with friends and on your website and blog, is Barefoot Books. Here's just one example of what I'm talking about. See for yourself.

If You're Happy and You Know It

List of Barefoot Books Videos on YouTube

1. Nick Knack Paddy Whack

2. The Journey Home From Grandpa's

3. The Animal Boogie

4. Driving My Tractor

5. Portside Pirates

-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis Amplify

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