Book Review: Going Barefoot by Aileen Fisher

I looked everywhere for this book. It is out of print, and I had to find a used copy online. When I was a kid, my mom and I always used to check this book out of the library. It was my absolute favorite book because the concept of going barefoot in June represented to me absolute freedom.

A kid. Summertime. No shoes. No bedtime (sort of). No school. For someone as creative as me, I could entertain myself for a thousand summers, and it meant the start of an endless stretch of days that would allow me to do just that. It was during these summers that I started writing, and the books I read instilled a love of literature.

going barefoot

In the book, written in verse by Aileen Fisher and illustrated by Adrienne Adams, a boy is standing out on a cold, bleak March day, bundled up in the same types of things I had to bundle up in when growing up in cold Connecticut. He is asking his mother, who is handing him a pair of mandatory gloves, when he’ll be able to go barefoot. He asks, “How soon / how soon / is a morning in June, / a sunny morning or afternoon / in the wonderful month / of the Barefoot Moon? / I can go barefoot… as soon / as it’s June.”

His statement fills me with the nostalgia, the almost literal pain in my soul, as I long for a beautiful day, full of life and green and birds and sun, during a long winter stretch.

Through the middle of the book, the boy considers all the types of animals that can go barefoot all the time. He wonders why he has to wait until June and July before his feet can touch the grass.

In the end of the book, his mother flips the calendar, realizing that June has arrived, and of course–the boy is out the door enjoying the weather. I thought it was an appropriate book to review for today, the first week of June. I’m not sure about where you live, but here in Virginia, as my neighbor put it while walking her dog, “we could not have ordered a better day.”

And now, I’m going outside to enjoy some more of it.

And I’m going barefoot.

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