Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A photo posted by Katje (@katgoesbarefoot) on

Hi there! Katje here. It’s Christmas Eve and I want to wish you and yours a very merry and bright holiday season, filled with magic, love, and — of course — lots of reading!

I’m using my downtime to catch up on my reading, and I’m using the holiday as an excuse to hook the young ones in my life on books! Several of the gifts under the tree are Barefoot Books, destined for my niece and my close friend’s daughter. I can’t wait to see the reactions of both kids and parents when they open their gifts!

In my somewhat-biased opinion, books are the best gift for any occasion. They never go out of style and they can be enjoyed again and again for years, and then passed on to others who will enjoy them. They foster a sense of wonder, bright imaginations, and — of course — literacy. When in doubt — give a book. My only wish this year is that I could have given more.

Well, there will be plenty of chances in the new year!

Bright blessings this holiday season, and I’ll see you all again very soon.


World Kindness Day

Hi! Katje here.

Whoa, it’s been a while since I posted! I am so sorry. I got super wrapped up in a bunch of things. In October I was double-booked with a Barefoot table at the 4th Annual Health and Wellbeing for Children, Youth, and Adults with Developmental Disabilities Conference and volunteering at the Vancouver Writers’ Fest, and since the start of November I’ve been super busy with events and getting ready for the Christmas season!

Speaking of, I’ll be at the Fort Langley Merry Little Christmas Shop tonight, 5:30-9pm, at the Fort Langley Community Hall on Glover. Check the Events page for more info, then come on by and talk to me about putting together an Advent Book Calendar for your favourite reader this holiday season.

Hope to see you there!

Today is World Kindness Day, so I wanted to talk about some books that feature kindness and generosity.

Continue reading “World Kindness Day”

Community Living Days, Douglas Park, September 27th

Hello everyone! Katje here.

On Saturday I held a table at the Community Living Day event at Douglas Park in Langley.

The event was a lot of fun and a huge success. There was live music, food, a few vendors, art work, and draws for prizes. I donated two books to the raffle — Emily’s Tiger and Herb the Vegetarian Dragon — and I hope whoever won them enjoys them immensely.

The event wasn’t very long but even so I met a lot of people and made some great contacts in the community, and it left me excited to participate in the next community event.

Hope I see you there!


Book of the Week: I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis

Welcome to the first instalment of our weekly feature here on Barefoot in Langley: Book of the Week!

Every week on Friday a Barefoot Book will be given the spotlight here. I’ll talk a bit about the book, share a picture or two, and talk about what kids will get out of the book and why I think the book is special. (Well, first off — it’s a book!)

This week’s book is I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis.

That thumb belongs to me. 😉


A bit about the book: I Took the Moon for a Walk is about a child who goes for a walk and talks about how the moon is following him. It’s done in the form of a lyrical poem and accompanied by beautiful illustrations. It’s available in large format board book or in paperback, and there’s also a Spanish version.

This is the first Barefoot Book I picked up and read and it’s definitely a favourite. The illustrations are gorgeous and the book is fun to read out loud.

What kids will get out of this book and why it’s special: I think it’s great that the book shows the moon as a friendly entity that, while being high up in the sky, is not emotionally distant. The child in the book sees the moon as his friend and companion, which helps make the night seem not so scary. Also great about this book is at the back it teaches children about the phases of the moon and nocturnal animals, so it’s educational too. (Many Barefoot Books are.) The lyrical poem not only helps foster a love of poetry, it inspires a sense of wonder in nature and the nighttime.

I may be biased, as I am already a nighttime and moon-lover, but I think it’s important for kids to see the moon as friendly, and the night as not so scary. Yes, there are scary things in the night, but there are scary things in the day, too — it’s important to be aware of what is scary without writing off an entire time period as 100% scary. I think humans naturally are scared of the dark because we are often such visual creatures and it can be hard to see — but the moon can help us there, at least on the nights that she’s gibbous or full.

(Also, it probably goes without saying but I find this a great book for pagan parents, especially if honoring the moon is part of your practice. This book will be featured on my Books for Pagan Parents series when it starts up.)


Banned Books Week 2014: Part of Literacy is Critical Thinking

Hello! Katje here. 🙂

A banned classic.

Today I want to talk about Banned Books Week. It runs from September 21st to 27th and is sponsored by a lot of organizations including the American Library Association. Hundreds of books have been challenged or banned in schools and libraries across the world, and very often they’re books aimed at kids or teens. The purpose of Banned Books Week is to bring attention to books that have been challenged or banned and to celebrate the freedom to read. Banning books may seem like an easy solution to objectionable material, but what it actually does is make the banned books more enticing and creates an environment where people are going to read them anyway, but without the proper context.

A better approach is to teach kids of appropriate age about the books and cover why they’re considered objectionable. This gives a proper context for the books without making them more enticing. It also gives kids the power to decide whether they agree with whoever found the book objectionable.

Continue reading “Banned Books Week 2014: Part of Literacy is Critical Thinking”

Guest Post: Reading Readiness in the Fifties

Hello everyone! Eva here. When Katje sent me her story of how she came to be a reader, I responded with this. She asked if I wanted it to be my inaugural guest post here on Barefoot in Langley, and of course I said yes!

Book cover for Je Taimerai Toujours.Isn’t it funny, what we forget and remember? I had forgotten about Danny and the Dinosaur until Katje reminded me. I do remember how much she loved bedtime stories, especially Je t’Aimerais Toujours, which I sang to her.

I wasn’t so lucky. My father was an ex-teacher with quirky ideas. My mother was an obedient wife. I did not know this for about four decades, but he forbade my mother to teach me to read, so that I would not feel out of place with my fellow students when finally, at age six, I would be allowed to go to school. Like Katje, I was a child with early reading readiness. For some kids, that doesn’t happen until age seven but for us it came early. Unhappily for me, the doors to reading remained shut for three or four interminable years.

There weren’t many children’s books in the Fifties. My mother did not read to me before bed. Mornings, I would ask for a pencil and scribbler and invent writing for myself, wondering what the key to reading looked like. On weekends, when the color funnies came, I would sit with arms fixed wide, fingers clutching the edges of the storied pages, trying to break the code until my head ached. Surely there was a story attached to those pictures which would give me a clue!

When I was five, my mother was asked to translate for a Dutch immigrant family whose children needed to be enrolled in Donald Ross School, Edmonton. My best friend, Jean-Charles, was entering school too and I was green with jealousy. As my mother put my little sister into the stroller, I begged her, “Please, Mam, ask if I can go to school, too!” I want to believe she promised, but probably not. Off we trudged, the immigrant lot of us, the “Dirty DPs” (Displaced Persons). The principal’s desk came up to my nose and he looked enormous, hulking on its far side. As I heard the conversation drawing to a close, I jiggled my mother’s arm and whispered, “Ask him! Please!” Shame-faced, my mother related my outrageous request.

“How old is she?” he barked.

“She was five in June,” my mother quavered.

“No!” It was the first rejection of my life.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Reading Readiness in the Fifties”

Raise-a-Reader Day 2014: “How I Learned to Read”

Hello everyone!

Today is Raise-a-Reader day here in Canada, and I thought I would share with you all the story of how I learned to read. (Plus, later on today we have a guest post from my mom on the subject!)

A long long time ago, right here in this very galaxy and on this very planet, in a little village called Belcarra, my mom and my nanny Liza were trying to get me to read on my own and they were feeling rather disheartened.

Perhaps some background is needed.

Continue reading “Raise-a-Reader Day 2014: “How I Learned to Read””

New Barefoot Release: Space Song Rocket Ride

Hey there! Just a quick note on a new release today!

Barefoot just released a new singalong book called Space Song Rocket Ride. I think it’s a pretty neat song myself, and you’ll probably recognize the tune!

You can pick up Space Song Rocket Ride here in paperback and hardcover, along with an enhanced CD.

Enjoy your travels through the galaxy!


Hello there!

This is me.

Hi! My name is Katje and I’m an Ambassador for Barefoot Books.

What’s Barefoot Books? Well, they create beautiful children’s books for kids the world over. I decided to become part of the Barefoot Books Ambassador opportunity because I believe in instilling the virtues of compassion and literacy in kids. I also believe we have a need for diverse books, and Barefoot Books features diverse casts in many of their products.

I don’t have any kids yet, but I live in Langley with my fiancé and we plan on settling down and raising our future children here. I started this blog as a place to share my thoughts on Barefoot Books, literacy, diversity, learning, and life in Langley.

Welcome to my blog, and I hope you enjoy what I have to offer here!