Sam's Picture Book Club: Barefoot Critters

This month, I thought I'd highlight two autumnal picture books from Teagan White!

With two books (so far) in her Barefoot Critters series, Teagan White is quickly becoming a go-to in the children's book industry with her vintage-y illustrations, and audacity to include a dinosaur in the same group as a cute woodland creatures (I gotta be honest, the triceratops is my favourite character). Her style is intricate and often heavily features natural elements, from plants and flowers to the aforementioned dinosaurs and cuddly critters.

With her picture books, Teagan shows a gentle approach to introducing letters and numbers to the 4-8 year old crowd. The first installment, Adventures with Barefoot Critters, manages to teach both letters and the months of the year in charming two page spreads; October, for example, encompasses the letters "S" and "T":

On cool days we set ships to sail in the stream / And in October, trick-or-treating's a scream!

The muted colour palette and minimal background imagery lets her watercolour characters take center stage and you (or a child) will have fun combing the illustrations for all the little details: the amount of fur on the fox's face or the patterns on the critters' clothes. 

Thanks to my pal Sylvia at Tundra for the review copy! 

The second book, Counting with Barefoot Critters, reads more like a traditional narrative, explaining what happens when one critter decides to go exploring, collecting eleven friends along the way over the course of one fun-filled day. Their adventure include making pancakes and playing pirates, and each time a new friend joins their games, they're welcome with open arms. I especially like the message on the last page which may or may not have made me tear up a little (and, in my opinion, some of the best picture books are the ones that hit you in the feels). 

With other minds to inspire you and make your days fun / You’ll always feel loved, even when you’re just one.

Like the first one, it's written in rhymes which are sweet and easy, and the overall message of the book - that you can have fun both by yourself and with others - is exactly what children need to hear. The critters are a delight to follow and I'm hoping to follow them on more adventures (colours, perhaps? I imagine it would be gorgeous!).