Barefoot Book Review: The Tear Thief

The Tear Thief by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate
The first thing that caught my eye about this book is that the softness of the illustrations matches perfectly the gentle rhythm of the words. It is a lullaby, the perfect bedtime story. The Tear Thief caresses you with each word and makes you feel relaxed and warm as you turn each illustrated page. I am sure it would have the same calming effect on any child that it was read to. Esther and William at only 9.5 months old listened to the whole book through though focusing on my face rather than the stunning art work in the book. This is a work of magic, poetic magic!

I can imagine this book being interpreted creatively through music and dance, that is what I would love to do if I was teaching right now. (Think it may be just a bit beyond my 9 month old twins!)

The Tear Thief is published by Barefoot Books, a company whose texts are well known for being beautiful pieces of art as well as stories in words.

Barefoot say that they

Celebrate art and story that opens the hearts and minds of children from all walks of life, inspiring them to read deeper, search further, and explore their own creative gifts.

Barefoot books focus on themes that

Encourage independence of spirit, enthusiasm for learning, and sharing of the world’s diversity.

Their books

Combine the best of the present with the best of the past to educate our children as the caretakers of tomorrow.

Carol Ann Duffy’s The Tear Thief is a beautiful book that is written for children of today and tomorrow but echoes great stories and legends of the past. It encourages children to explore their emotions and challenges their beliefs about characters we cannot see. When reading this book with your children you can talk to them about why we cry and what can make us feel better. You can ask children to draw or paint the different coloured tears mentioned in the story and think about the different emotions that the colours represent.
This lyrical text is wonderful. It reads like a love song and yet I hear a haunting melody as I read.

The author exemplifies how to use a range of literary effects that can be explored with children at home or at school. There are wonderful examples of simile and alliteration for children to find and enjoy. The description in the text is exquisite and paints wonderful pictures in your mind. There is also opportunity in the story to discuss proverbs and familiar sayings such as ‘Don’t cry over spilt milk’ and ‘crocodile tears’.

More than a resource though this is a really good read, a stunning story for children of all ages and for adults too.

Have you been visited by The Tear Thief?

If you would like to read this book for yourself you can purchase it from the Barefoot Books website. Why not browse the site whilst you are there to see what other marvellous poems, stories and traditional tales the company has to offer. Enjoy!

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