Book Review: The Barefoot King: A Story about Feeling Frustrated


Book Review: The Barefoot King: A Story about Feeling Frustrated

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Summary A lighthearted story about the consequences of rash decisions and the importance of problem solving, responsibility, and acceptance for kids ages 4-8.


The story of The Barefoot King cleverly fleshes out the Buddhist saying: “It is easier to put on a pair of shoes than to wrap the earth in leather.” It’s fun to read aloud to children because of the rhyming couplets. The meaning behind the story is helpful to introduce when there are issues arising with a child feeling subject to changing external circumstances when actually all they need to do is change their attitude. Olivia Holden’s simple paintings and muted color palette are pleasing to the eye. As an add on we reinforced the learning of the padyam mudra (foot washing water). It’s a quick and fun read good for any SEL library for ages 4-8.

Author: Andrew Jordan Nance
Illustrator: Olivia Holden

From the publisher, “Told in rhyming couplets, The Barefoot King recounts the story of a young king named Creet who rules a land where people walk around with bare feet. Easily distracted, one day King Creet stubs his toe on a rock and is shocked by the pain. Never wanting to experience that discomfort again, the king decides to cover his whole kingdom in leather, with unfortunate consequences. This short and playful story helps parents discuss concepts of acceptance, awareness, and responsibility with kids.

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