I have a friend named Marilyn who is a professional story teller. I think that is just about the coolest job there is. She has such a talent. I believe it is a real blessing to be able to tell a story that is meaningful, interesting, imaginative, and teaches something. Entertainment is often noisy and visually over-stimulating, so it is a relief to quietly sit and listen to a story being told or read. And if there is beautiful artwork to go with it, that makes it even better!
Marilyn recommended that I look at Barefoot Books, and I'm so glad she recommended it! The next time I'm in Massachusetts I would love to go experience their studio with my kids. Their website is wonderful, and even offers podcasts featuring some of their stories, which are great for older children who are able to focus a little more and use their imaginations to create the pictures in their heads. For younger children, there are also some fun videos featuring book illustrations and songs. My favorite is If You're Happy and You Know It, a real classic! Oh, and check out this list of activities and party ideas that go along with the books too.
My favorite thing about this company is their focus on core world-wide values. There are no commercial characters in their stories. I appreciate this even though my husband works for a large family entertainment company; or maybe because he does. I like to have a break from the constant barrage of licensed merchandise once in a while too. Happy reading!
P.S. I have not bought any of their books (yet!) and have not received any products or compensation from Barefoot Books. I just really like what they offer for families!