All the Tiptoes' tales are for general family reading from kindergarten to age 10 or so. I am often asked about the order of my Tiptoes Lightly tales. Each title can be read separately since the tales exist in 'childhood time', however, there is a slight difference in tone and or languaging, and so here's my ordering.
1) The Bee who lost his Buzz.
2) The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly / The Festival of Stones / Big-Stamp Two-Toes the Barefoot Giant / The Magic Knot / Eggs for the Hunting / The Starry Bird.
3) The Lost Lagoon
4) The Midsummer Mouse (upcoming late spring 2013) / The Treasure Cave (upcoming late summer 2013)
The remaining books (below) are not Tiptoes books - see each synopsis for age appropriatness.
UPCOMING TITLES: The Midsummer Mouse will be out in May (with luck) - See below.
Later in the year an autumn book, The Treasure Cave, will come out. The manuscript is written - illustrations take a while. It is set at Thanksgiving, when Farmer John and crew go to their cottage beside the sea. The book is filled with sea tales and creation myths.
A novel for young adults is also in the making. Tentatively titled The Darkling Beasts, it is a fun-but-serious-and-dramatic 'fantasy' ... but is actually, as the tale unfolds, a cautionary tale of our financial system and the people who run it.
Coming Soon! The Midsummer Mouse - midummer tales of Tiptoes Lightly and the Summer Queen.
The sun is rising higher into the sky every day. Summer has come and Farmer John builds a great pile of wood for the Midsummer's Eve festival taking place on his land. Tom Nutcracker and June Berry's whole school is coming to celebrate. June Berry forgets a basket by the oak tree when they are helping their dad build the wood pile. A small detail to us, perhaps, but one which leads Jeremy Mouse on a merry dance as Jemima Mouse tries to preserve the cookie for the festival. Meanwhile, Pine Cone and Pepper Pot are not opening their door to anyone other than Tiptoes (and even then only reluctantly). Their beards, it seems, are entangled. Hopelessly entangled. This sends Tiptoes all over the forest to find a way to get pine resin out of beards. Then there is the problem of Ompliant the Elephant. What are Tom and June to do with him? How will they keep him out of sight? But the clever kids come up with a wonderful idea to hide a pachyderm in plain sight. Finally, the Summer Queen begins to appear here and there, and in the end joins the festival and tells The Tale of Turana before mysteriously vanishing before the crowd.
The Midsummer Mouse is a summer tale, full of midsummer mirth, misadventure, mystery and delight. It will bring sparkles to children's eyes, and laughter to adults, too. Suitable, as always with Tiptoes Lightly tales, for family reading from kindergarten through age 10 or so. This book is perhaps the oldest in tone overall, so save it for later if you have small children and are buying your first Tiptoes' book.
Illustrated, 138 pages, price $16.50. Suitable, as always with Tiptoes tales, for family reading from kindergarten through age 10 or so. This book is perhaps the oldest in tone (overall) so save it for later if you have small children and are buying your first Tiptoes' books.
Eggs for the Hunting
starring Pine Cone and Pepper Pot and the illimitable Tiptoes Lightly
Spring is full of life and life is full of eggs, all sorts of eggs: great cosmic eggs and tiny butterfly eggs, salmon eggs and bird eggs, rabbit eggs and special eggs being gilded and painted by two gnomes called Pine Cone and Pepper Pot. They have been told (gossiped, to be correct) that Farmer John’s children, Tom and June, are going to give them special eggs for Easter, and they decide to reciprocate. However, if you are a gnome, a small gnome—even if you are two small gnomes—then the simplest of tasks (such as finding a bird who does not mind giving you a couple of their eggs) can be a problem ... !!!
Woven into the fabric of the book are many tales, myths and legends: Pepper Pot reads the history of King Karnac and the Turning of Time, Madam Two-Pecks tells her chicks how the universe was created from the World Egg, and the Wise Salmon in Running River tells the fingerlings about the great cycle, the Egg of Life. ‘Eggs for the Hunting’ is a spring tale, a wonder tale, affirming the joy, humor and mystery of life.
A triplet of reviews: "Perfect spring tale for all ages: I fell in love with these books instantly, as did my 5 children. I think this one captures the innocence of spring and Easter beautifully. My children begged for more and I ended up reading this book in only two nights. It would make a wonderful gift in the Easter basket!" Kelly - Amazon Review
"If you aren't a Tiptoes fan yet, "Eggs for the Hunting," the seventh book in the Tiptoes Tales, is a great place to start. It's a wonderful book for young children, highly imaginative and utterly entertaining."David Kennedy Waldorf Today
"Eggs for the Hunting" is an entertaining twist for younger readers, very much recommended." Midwest Book Review
Feb 15: The print edition is available in the USA and Canada only from my small vendors until the end of June - see the front page for a list. Then it will go live on Amazon. This is to give my small vendors first dibs and not be in competition with the juggernaut for a while. (See Home Page for list of vendors.) Price $14.95. Illustrated by moi.
A Tangle of Tales: short stories for children
A collection of forty-two stories for children. Inside you’ll find nature tales, riddle tales, fables, fairy tales, poems, and creation myths both serious and sanguine. Suitable for children from kindergarten through grade four. Tons of illustrations and drawings.
January 2013: Now available in Kindle (only)
Once, long ago, there lived a simpleton. He was so simple that he ate his soup with a fork and buttered his bread with a spoon. But he was a kind soul who spoke with the animals, and they came to him when they were hurt or needed help. In summertime, butterflies flitted about his head, and it was a common sight to see him walking along, paying not the slightest heed, while round and round his head the butterflies shimmered and danced. The townsfolk laughed and jeered and called him Butterbrains—or worse—but he never seemed to mind and went on his way.
Now the king of the land had a beautiful daughter. She was as fair as the sun and as mysterious as the moon. One day she fell terribly ill; so ill that none of the doctors could help her and everyone thought she would die.
One night she had a dream, and calling her father to her she said: "I dreamed that if a man journeys through the twelve kingdoms surrounding our castle I will become well again."
This is how the story begins and off Butterbrains goes through the twelve kingdoms and twelve extraordinary adventures until he arrives back (transformed, of course) and wins the hand of the lovely princess.
Sir Gillygad and the Gruesome Egg
Sir Gillygad is a knight, a doughty knight who rides about on his trusty frog called Gorf. They venture forth on adventures bold and exciting: to the Twinkle, to Holey Hill, to the Plain of Dreams—even as far as World's End. Then rumors are heard, rumors of an egg, a Gruesome Egg, with two leggs, a left leg and a right leg, and the leggs were bird’s leggs—which makes sense in an eggy sort of way. It is haunting the Daark Forest close to the Mumbly Mews and the gerwine Greneff. So off Sir Gillygad gallops (well, hoppedy-hops), there to meet and confront this unique and remarkable beast.
Sir Gillygad and the Gruesome Egg is an adventuresome tale, suitable for children aged 9 to 12 or thereabouts—and adults too, if they still are young at heart and open to the wonders that speak to the mystery of life and becoming.
The Fetching of Spring (a tale for grown-ups - 14 and up)
The Golden Bird has been stolen (apparently) and Tik-Tak is sent to fetch it. The naive and dreamy youth rides southwards (it’s warmer in that direction), gets kicked out of two kingdoms, meets Erce-Ma, loses his hopeless steed, gains a (much) better one, stumbles into the Undwelling and its townships, descends into Akkman’s Dwell, rescues the bird (and other abductees), returns (still not fully awake) with the bird, refuses the hand of the Princess (what!), becomes a successful entrepreneur, is jailed > is released > then steals the bird (wrong order, I know, but that’s the truth), returns to Spring, returns to Tansa, gets familied, assumes the kingship and unites the Three Kingdoms (well, it’s a work in progress).
The Fetching of Spring, written with a (sometimes) humorous nod to the fairy tale, has a deadly serious subtext. It is an awakening tale, the story all of us are in whether we like it or not. Setting out from the Kingdom of the Golden Bird our (inordinately) nascent hero descends via the earthly into contemporary sub-earthly realms. The story (and it is a story in the sense of storytelling) ends with worn-shoe idealism and a peppering of satire to spice things up.
"The Fetching of Spring is wonderful reading of the very best sort: a story true and strong, told with joy and wonder, clarity and hope. This one is not to be missed." Waldorf Books
"The Fetching of Spring is an excellent pick for anyone looking for a fun take on the fairy tale fantasy." Midwest Book Review
The Lost Lagoon ~ Adventures of Tiptoes Lightly and Greenleaf the Sailor
It is spring and Running River is in full flood. Tiptoes Lightly and Jeremy Mouse visit Greenleaf the Sailor and venture forth in his newly made leaf boat. Soon they are joined by Pine Cone and Pepper Pot the Gnomes and together they search for the Lost Lagoon the frogs have been so beautifully singing about.
Meanwhile, Farmer John reads The Adam Tales to Tom Nutcracker and June Berry. Later, Tom impulsively rides off on Chiron and he too comes to the Lost Lagoon. What happens on this night, with its majestic, rising moon, is filled with a wonder and magic that won't soon be forgotten.
“The Lost Lagoon” is a fun and recommended pick for younger readers." Midwest Book Review
The Bee who lost his Buzz
Lucy Goose and the Half-egg
Tiptoes Lightly lives in an acorn high in the branches of a Great Oak Tree. Her tree sits on a knoll overlooking Running River, and she and her friends have a host of adventures. First they help the bee who lost his buzz – snagged on a thorn belonging to grumpy Mr. Cactus! Then they visit the house of Pine Cone and Pepper Pot and sail down to the sea to untangle Octopus – he’s too young to count his legs properly and gets them mixed up!
Later they journey to Snowy Mountain to hear from Jack Frost what kind of being he really is – and Jack tells the dramatic tale of how he came to be. Finally, after many adventures big and small they find out who the real mother of the half-egg is – the one that Lucy Goose found in the mud and is determined to hatch along with her own eggs.
Lavishly illustrated by the author-artist, these are simple, innocent and magical tales set in nature. Humorous, reverent, sanguine and droll, they are suitable for reading to young children (kindergarten to grade 3) or for young children to read (grades 1 – 4). Soft cover; 104 pages. Purchase Book or Kindle edition
“I wish there was something like this (Tiptoes Lightly) when my two children were growing up. It’s a wonderful book.” Louise Riveiro-Mitchell – author of ‘Autumn Sky’ Book Review Cafe
Big-Stamp Two-Toes the Barefoot Giant ~ Spring Tales of Tiptoes Lightly
Big-Stamp is all about spring, when nature is alive and abundant and renewing. Jemima Mouse has tiny mouslings, the like of which Ompliant the Elephant cannot believe – they’re as furless and pink as a jelly bean! On they way, Ompliant has his leg pulled by the jokester Chit-Chat the Chipmunk, and later Tom Nutcracker bravely follows Ompliant’s giant footprints deep into the forest. He sees Ompliant at close quarters and scoots up a tree in terror. Now Tom is hopelessly treed, and there’s only one body big enough, with a trunk long and strong enough, to help him down. Luckily Tiptoes Lightly is there to build her magic bridges.
Other adventures are had too. Tiptoes sails down to the sea on a leaf and meets Spinner the Dolphin. She guides him up Running River, and she and Tom and June Berry show him his first flowers. Then Pine Cone and Pepper Pot the gnomes sail to Pixie Island and hear from Miranda how the blue and yellow Forget-me-not flower got its name. Afterwards, while visiting a huge boulder, Tiptoes and the gnomes are told by the rock spirit how ‘The Rock’ came to be sitting in the middle of the forest – because of Big-Stamp Two-Toes the Barefoot Giant, of course!
Extensively illustrated by the author, these are magical, humorous and reverent tales set in nature. Suitable for reading to children (kindergarten to grade 3 or 4) or for young children to read (grades 1 – 4). Soft cover; 100 pages. Purchase Book or Kindle edition
"Love it! We have read all of the Tiptoes series and would HIGHLY recommend them to any child." Amazon Review
Tiptoes Lightly and her friends celebrate the best of the autumn festivals: Michaelmas, Halloween, Martinmas, Advent and Christmas. Many adventures are had and festival tales told: at Michaelmas Farmer John recounts ‘The Most Beautiful Dragon in the Whole World’ to his children, Tom Nutcracker and June Berry, and on Christmas day he reads them ‘The Burden Bull of Scotland’. Tiptoes also tells tales – her favorites being ‘The Myth of Ella-jah’ which recounts how the animals were created, and the story of ‘The Sun-child and the Birds’ which she tells on Christmas eve.
On the way, Jeremy Mouse meets Olivia who lives inside an olive tree, is frightened at Halloween (by a You-know-what!), and almost drowns in Soggy Mire because the ice is too thin for sliding on – luckily he is saved by Mr. Owl the Vegetarian! Finally, Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse build the first, and finest, snow-mouse the world has ever seen.
Capturing the inner mood of nature during autumn and winter, these lavishly illustrated tales are reverent, humorous and sacred. Suitable for reading to children (kindergarten to grade 3 or 4) or for young children to read (grades 2 to 4). Soft cover; 100 pages. Purchase Book or Kindle edition
“This is a fascinating book by an extraordinarily imaginative writer.” The Reading Tub Review
The Magic Knot is a making-tale comedy starring Pine Cone and Pepper Pot the gnomes. They decide, since it is soon to be Tiptoes' birthday and she has no furniture in her house, to make her one table and three chairs. A simple task for clever gnomes - so we would think! But, from the finding of the 'perfect' branch to getting the table and chairs to the top of the Great Oak Tree where Tiptoes' acorn house swings back and forth, things go awry. On the way they get help from a host of friends: Ompliant the Elephant, Jeremy Mouse, the Carpenter Ants, Chiron the Pony and Spin-a-lot the Spider (to name just a few). Finally, when her surprise birthday party rolls around, Tiptoes tells the enchanting tale of how she came to live in the Great Oak Tree as a daughter of Father Sun and Mother Wind.
The Magic Knot is lavishly illustrated by the artist-author. It is full of innocent, sanguine humor, and is suitable for reading to young children or for young children to read (ages 4 to 9).
An additional story, The Tale of None, is found at the end of the book. It is about a ladybug who had no spots—none at all!—until she completes her spot-finding journey to India, Africa and America. Purchase Book or Kindle edition
"This book is a must have for any child, right along with all of Reg Down's books. We have read this book many times and you will not be disappointed." Amazon Review
The Starry Bird ~ an Easter tale
A great book for the Easter basket! Have you got yours?
One morning an egg appears in the meadow below the Great Oak Tree. Neither Jeremy Mouse nor the fairy Tiptoes Lightly have ever seen such a huge egg – over a foot tall! They go to Farmer John’s in search of an answer, but without any luck, and when they return the egg has grown!
Thus begins an adventure which involves most everybody on the farm – human, animal and sprite. The egg, later hidden deep in the forest, keeps growing and finally hatches in a beautiful way on Easter Sunday.
The Starry Bird is an Easter tale with healthy doses of humor, adventure, and just plain fun. But underneath, in a form suitable for children, run the mystery-questions of life, death and resurrection that lie at the heart of Easter.
"Parents and children will enjoy The Starry Bird, the perfect book to send along with a favorite young person on their spring vacation or in their Easter basket." Midwest Book Review
The Bee who Lost his Buzz
A picture book from The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly
For years my readers have been telling me that I should illustrate my books in color. Well folks, here is the first adventure from The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly.
The Bee who Lost his Buzz follows Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse as they help the Bee whose buzz has been snagged by grumpy Mr. Cactus. Then, after Pine Cone and Pepper Pot the gnomes unplug the apple that’s stuck in Ompliant the Elephant’s trunk, Tiptoes helps the Worm who has lost his squirm and cannot wiggle back into the safety of his home under the ground. Later, along with the red-capped gnomes, they sail down Running River to the ocean to help little Octopus untangle his legs. He’s too young to count them properly (he can only count to seven), and whenever he tries gets them hopelessly mixed up.
The Bee who Lost his Buzz is an innocent and magical tale suitable for reading to young children or for young children to read. It is an ideal book for children from preschool through grade one or two.
Picture book, 8 x 10, soft cover, 40 pages. Purchase Book
"The Bee Who Lost His Buzz” is ideal for teaching children how much fun reading can be." Midwest Book Review
The Cricket and the Shepherd Boy ~ A Christmas Tale
A young shepherd hears a cricket singing at his feet. The cricket speaks to him and foretells that the coming winter will be both special and especially cold. Then he disappears back into the grass.
The winter is indeed especially harsh, but on a star-studded night the cricket and the shepherd boy make their way to a manger huddled low between two hills. There they find a mother and father with a child who radiates light and warmth into the world.
This innocent and warmhearted nativity tale is intended for parents to read to their children at Christmas time. While the story itself is timeless, this tale is most suitable for children from preschool to grade four or five.
Picture book, 8 x 10, soft cover, 40 pages. Purchase Book
" ... highly recommended ... brings the generous and reverent spirit of Christmas to life ..." Midwest Book Review
Color and Gesture - the inner life of color Now available on Amazon - the second, revised and updated edition
Color and Gesture explores the inner life of color in a way that only eurythmy and the initiation science of Rudolf Steiner make possible. What appears is a world of incredible richness, depth and beauty in the most common, unlikely and unexpected of places—gesture. Gesture reveals the human soul, and the fabric of the soul is color; as a result, we find that the souls’ infinite expressiveness, with all its goodness, pathos, waywardness and humor, is intimately woven through with color experiences.
When we approach gesture via color, we discover whole gesture families, with, at times, the most unforeseen of bedfellows. We gain new insights into soul gestures, acting gestures, animal, planetary and zodiac gestures. The underlying eurythmic gestures of speech and music are also explored, and we learn to experience how the color chords underlying gesture are themselves a structured, musically-ordered language.
And when we approach color via gesture, we find inner laws, relationships and dynamics which allow us to gain, via artistic activity, not only a deeper understanding of color as a whole, but also a conscious foothold in the astral and etheric worlds.
Contents include: 51 Chapters plus Overview and Indexes, 250+ Figures and 170+ Haloes.
Subjects covered: Color Dynamics, Rudolf Steiner’s Eurythmy Figures, Soul Gestures, Color Figures, Acting Figures, Animal Gestures, Speech and Music Figures, Eurythmy Exercises, Elements and Ethers, Etc.
Retail: $38.50, Perfect bound, Format: 8.5 x 11, Pages: 552. Purchase now!
"Reg Down’s Color and Gesture is a monumental work that explores in depth and with beauty the inner life of color ... this is an amazing book!" Nancy Parsons - Waldorf Books
See the Color and Gesture page for further reviews.
Leaving Room for the Angels - Eurythmy and the Art of Teaching
Review from AWSNA Chief Editor: "This is a remarkable book! The first section should be read by all Waldorf teachers. It contains wisdom and practical advice that will benefit every teacher. It is especially insightful with regard to adolescence. The second part of the book is for eurythmists. Reg Down illustrates forms and gives special hints to make life easier for all eurythmy teachers."
AWNSA Publications: Softbound • 240 Pages.
"This is a remarkable book! The first section should be read by all Waldorf teachers. It contains wisdom and practical advice that will benefit every teacher." David Mitchell, Editor in Chief, AWSNA Publications
Toys inspired by Tiptoes Lightly
Tiptoes Lightly ~ a fairy doll ~
Tiptoes is a light-as-air doll, handmade
from wool roving she hangs from a golden thread.
An original design based on the fairy
Tiptoes Lightly from Reg Down’s
magical children’s books.Use her for storytelling,
while reading to your children at bedtime,
as a decoration in a window, over a bed,
or in your child’s play-space.
Tiptoes is 9 inches tall and will enchant any child or adult. Handmade in the USA