Cover image for The Barefoot book of brother and sister tales
The Barefoot book of brother and sister tales
Hoffman, Mary, 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Barefoot Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
63 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
A collection of stories from around the world, which explore the unique relationship between siblings.
Hansel and Gretel (German) -- Quillwork girl and her seven star brothers (Cheyenne) -- Red cow (Armenian) -- Alionushka and Ivanushka (Russian) -- Girl who banished seven brothers (Moroccan) -- Achol and Maper (Sudanese) -- Trampling the demons (Japanese).
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.1 2.0 44960.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.H714 BA 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

On Order



The holiday season is a time for sharing stories, decorating homes, and giving gifts to the people you love. Here we have gathered together some of our favorite picture books and anthologies -- all of which make wonderful holiday gifts!

Author Notes

Children's author and reviewer Mary Hoffman was born in 1945. She attended Newnham College to study English literature and University College London to study linguistics. She started writing in 1970 and has written about eighty children's books including the picture book Amazing Grace, the Stravaganza series, and the anti-war anthology Lines in the Sand. She is also the editor of the children's book review magazine Armadillo, which comes out four times a year.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-5, younger for reading aloud. Talk about rough childhoods! The siblings in this well-told and illustrated anthology suffer hardship in a myriad of fairy-tale forms: cruel queens, witches, and stepmothers (an author's note addresses the fairy tale tendency to demonize "reconstituted families"); starvation, separation, and loss; and shape-shifting evil enchantments. The siblings are both victims and heroes, finding salvation in magic, the animal world, and within each other. Throughout, as the author notes, the emphasis is on "equality and affection . . . rather than rivalry and discord," and the result is a rich collection of uplifting stories despite the fantastic and often cruel circumstances. With ethnic origins ranging from Japanese to Sudanese to Armenian, the tales contain a few details that may disturb a modern audience: a Moroccan character paints herself in blackface to pose as a servant, for example. But Hoffman retells the stories in clear, captivating language, each the perfect length for a bedtime read, and Emma Shaw-Smith's colorful, highly detailed illustrations, both inset and bordering each page, will keep children engaged. Abbreviated source notes appended. --Gillian Engberg

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-These seven tales from around the world feature brothers and sisters as the chief protagonists. Some are familiar, such as the German "Hansel and Gretel" and the Armenian "The Red Cow," but others are less well-known, such as the Sudanese "Achol and Maper." The stories explore the sibling bond from a variety of perspectives, running the gamut from all-consuming jealousy to undying devotion. Hoffman is a competent reteller and maintains a lively pace. Shaw-Smith's illustrations, done in watercolor and mixed media, have a vibrant palette and are rich in detail. Part of the action is depicted on bottom borders, and there are rounded insets on almost every page, so there is much for the eye to explore. The whole effect gives readers the impression that they are being allowed a private peek into the long ago and faraway. Brief source notes are appended.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.