Spring Into Summer Reading 2018

posted on April 18, 2018 by Eve Panzer

I know that spring has just begun, but it is not too early to start thinking about summer reading.  I suggest you start with the latest title from Barefoot Books –  Just Like Brothers. I have been selling Barefoot Books for over a decade – in fact my book selling career started when I became a direct seller for Barefoot Books.  I was impressed by their books for many reasons. At a time when multicultural books were almost non-existent, all their books were diverse. The artwork was beautiful and engaging. The language was rich and embraced global messages. Their books continue to deliver which is why I am still selling them as a children’s bookseller.

Just Like Brothers – a new book from Barefoot Books

Just Like Brothers is the latest release from Barefoot Books and it is a gem. There is so much to love about this book! The author is very playful with language coupling words to create her own new words. For instance, she describes the woods in the story as “…tree-thick and thorny-twisty.” Immediately a vibrant picture pops in the reader’s mind. There is not a lot of text on each page and the text is large and easy to read. The illustrations are colorful and playful.

The messages drawn from this book are timeless: empathy, respect, tolerance, integrity, curiosity, independence, friendship, courage and being open-mined.  This book is a perfect spring-board for so many important discussions to have with children.  The characters in the book are a wolf mother and her cub and a human mother and her child. Each mother warns their off-spring about the dangers of the other species.

The human mother tells her child: “Never wander in the woods where the wolves howl. For you are small and sweet as honey and the wolves are wild. They are long-snout and sharp-tooth; they are rough-fur and claw-paw. But the brown-eyed child is moon-mind and shut-ear and he doesn’t listen to his mother.  Instead he chases rabbits.”

The wolf mother tells her cub: “Never wander in the woods where the men prowl. For you are small and sweet as acorns and the men are mean. They are heavy-foot and spy-eye; they are rough-hand and jab-stick. But the grey-furred cub is wag-tail and scamper-paw and he doesn’t listen to his mother. Instead he chases rabbit.”

Of course, the paths of the cub and the boy cross. They think about what their mothers told them. However the reality in front of them is very different – and they both enjoy chasing rabbits. So they put away their fears and their mothers’ warnings and play together. This says so much about stereotyping. How meeting one on one and getting to know each helps us see how much we have in common. And that our differences make us unique, but not enemies.

This book is highly recommended!

I received a review copy from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC / Publisher Spotlight.

Just Like Brothers

Publisher: Barefoot Books 2018

Format:  Paperback

ISBN: 978-1782853466

Price: $8.99

Author:  Elizabeth Baguley

Illustrator:  Aurelie Blanz

Ages: 4 +

Genre: Fiction – picture book

Educators Tips

IB Ties/Emotional Intelligence: empathy, respect, tolerance, integrity, curiosity, independence, friendship, courage, being open-mined.



Last year I  posted sources for finding great children’s books for summer reading. I have updated the links below.

United States Board on Books for Young People Outstanding International Books 2018

Preschool – Grade 12
Building Bridges Through Children’s and Young Adult Books
“…international books for young people.”

School Library Journal – Best Of Reviews 2017

Preschool – Young Adult. Fiction and nonfiction.
The SLJ review editors selected their picks for the year’s best titles across books, apps, audiobooks and more.

Publisher’s Weekly Best Children’s Books 2017

Infant to teen. Fiction and nonfiction
Curated from the thousands of books published this year are our picks for the year’s best books for all ages, from Infant to teen.

Notable Children’s Books of 2017 from The New York Times

Picture books, Middle Grade books and YA – fiction and nonfiction” The best in picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, selected by the children’s books editor of The New York Times Book Review.”

Bank Street’s The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2010-2017

Infant to 16 years. Fiction and nonfiction.
Selected by the children’s book committee at Bank Street College of Education.

Children’s Book Council 2008-2017

Kindergarten to Second Grade
Third Grade to Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade
Fiction and nonfiction

Texas Blue Bonnet Award Lists 1980-Present

3rd through 6th grades. Fiction and nonfiction
Suggestions are solicited from librarians, teachers, parents, students and other interested persons. A new list of twenty books is released each year at the Texas Book Festival in October. The selection committee is charged with reading all suggested titles and selecting the final master list. In selecting titles, the committee considers student interests, relevant content, reputable reviews, and literary quality.

Texas 2X2: Current List

Age 2 – Grade 2
The 2X2 Committee‘s charge is to produce a list of 20 recommended books for children, age two to grade two.

Click here for lists dating back to 2006 USBBY Outstanding International Book Lists


May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!


Happy Reading,

Barefoot Librarian


Raves & Praise from educators and readers about Eve Panzer, the Barefoot Librarian:

Eve, the Barefoot Librarian has done a wonderful job at hand-selecting books for my three children, ages 3.5, 4.5 and 7. She considered their interests and reading levels in her selection of 23 titles. Some are bi-lingual, which is ideal since they are learning Spanish and English at the same time. All of the books are beautiful and some come with audio CDs, which they love listening to while having the book on their lap as we commute to school. What a wonderful way to get new books!

-Sharon M., Parent