So some of you might have noticed that we only have one page of reviews in Barefoot now - so much to write and so little space!! So we are moving some of our reviews onto the blog - and my intention is that I will review three or four books each month (see how that goes!) This month I have reviewed two great books and two lovely CDs for you. Enjoy!
PS If you have a book or CD you'd like us to review, please send us an email at email@example.com and let us know what it is and what it's about and you might just be our next review!
The first book I've reviewed is a great Indian cookbook called Mysore Style Cooking - The Secret of Yogic Recipes of Mysore, India by V. Sandhya. It is a beautifully set out book and all the recipes are vegetarian - which really appealed to me as I don't eat meat. When I first picked it up, I felt like I had been invited into Sandhya's family kitchen and was being honoured with the sharing of old family recipes. There are lovely family photos and a sense that these recipes are authentic and nourishing.
I have to admit I'm not a big cook. I tend not to work from recipes and I think of my meals about an hour before eating - so this book was a challenge for me. There was often ingredients that I didn't have in my cupboard and that I had to seek out like asafetida (a spice), but luckily there are some great Indian spice shops and supermarkets in Melbourne!
I really enjoyed the food though -yummy meals that weren't too hard to cook once you had all the ingredients..
I particularly like the Chickpea, potato, cauliflower Palya and the Spinach with Yellow Mung Daal.
I recommend this book for people who love authentic Indian food, who have the time and energy to chase up ingredients and be rewarded by the luscious tastes and textures these recipes produce.
Available from bookstores or visit http://www.mysorestylecooking.com/ for more information and recipes to download.
The second book that I was lucky enough to get my hands on was Old Freedom Train by Shayne Jackman.
Old Freedom Train is a Steiner Inspired Alphabet Book which is just beautiful. Coming from a Steiner inspired school and kinder (and family!), my children loved this book and accompanying frieze for the wall. Gorgeous, hand drawn pictures where the letters are the pictures - A is turned into an angel, H is a house, R is a rooster etc - allows children to feel into the letters, rather than the letters being abstract symbols. Old Freedom Train takes children on a pictorial journey of the alphabet with songs, poems and nursery rhymes and my children certainly love it. A lovely change from the usual alphabet books and one I've throughly enjoyed sharing with my children. I also really like that Old Freedom Train is produced in Australia on recycled paper which is manufactured with net zero climate impact.
Available at bookstores or visit http://www.oldfreedomtrain.com.au/ for more information and opportunities to purchase.
A copy of Old Freedom Train and accompanying freize is up for grabs in our Winter 2011 issue. All you need to do is write in to our letters page at firstname.lastname@example.org and our star letter wins a copy!! Get writing!
On to the music...
I was sent this CD to review and I have to admit that I was sceptical - I don't usually get into kids's music so much. In fact, most kid's music makes me feel like I'm going slightly bonkers - but this one was different. Songs of Connection by Alice Garrick is really good. I gave it to my 4 1/2 year old daughter to listen to and I found her snuggled up on her bed with a toy sound asleep at 5pm in the afternoon!! So I thought to myself - it's either boring or so peaceful and lovely that she relaxed completely and fell asleep!! So the next day, my daughter and I lay together and listened again and I was really pleasantly surprised. Beautiful, well composed music and singing that was enjoyable to listen to - I would even be happy to have this one in the car on repeat for a long trip! Now that is saying something!! My daughter was humming the songs after one listen and often now goes into her bedroom and puts it on.. So thanks Alice - for sending me your CD and sharing it with us - I highly recommend Songs of Connection for any family - a gentle, fun CD for your kids to listen to, that won't send you round the bend..
Available for purchase at http://www.alicemakesmusic.com/. You can also listen to one of the tracks too..
We have one copy to give away - so write to me at email@example.com and tell me why you need a copy and the best answer will have a copy in the mail soon!! Competition ends Friday 10th June at 5pm.
Last but not least -
I have been eagerly awaiting the new CD from the Waifs called Temptation, and when it arrived earlier this year - it wasn't quite what I was expecting. The first couple of times I listened to it, I didn't really enjoy it as much as other Waif's albums. However, the more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. There are definitely some tracks that I'm not so keen on, but overall I'm starting to find new love in it - it's quite melancholy and dreamy and I think I've been caught up in the fastness of other music - so once I allowed myself to relax into it - it's like having dinner with an old friend after many years.. My favourite tracks are Falling and Day Dreamer - I just love those soaring voices..
This is not a CD for hyping yourself up, but definitley one to sit down in front of the fire and relaxing on a wintery day.. Enjoy!
Available from music stores and http://www.thewaifs.com/.