cover image The Barefoot Book of Children

The Barefoot Book of Children

Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma, illus. by David Dean. Barefoot, $19.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-78285-296-4

Mixing reader-directed questions with statements of fact, Strickland and DePalma seek to get children thinking, both about their own lives and the lives of their peers across the globe. In pages devoted to families, food, bodies, language, and more, Dean’s vivid acrylic paintings highlight the similarities and differences among the lives of children far and wide—those with adoptive or gay parents, multiracial families, and engaged in work, play, and creative exploration. The authors don’t delve too far into specifics in the main narrative (“Some people worship. Some people pray. Some people meditate”), but a closing section goes into substantial detail regarding the languages, religious celebrations, activities, and foods from the preceding pages. It’s a lyrical exploration of humankind that strikes a lovely balance between celebrating individuality while recognizing the rewards of community. Ages 3–8. (Oct.)