“Her light-handed handling of messages makes her a perfect author of children’s books. Barnes should continue this series – she has a winner winner here. Read these books!”
     -Heartland Reviews

“Adults and children will fall in love with these heartwarming stories of friendship and love.”
Daily News, WY

“Her Ernest Series…speaks to children through Barnes’s menagerie, while gently administering a life lesson.”
Observer, Hunterdon County, NJ

“This charming series about Ernest the little donkey and other real-life animals has been delighting thousands of children, parents and teachers alike since its introduction in 2000.”
The Menard News, TX

“[Ernest books] are wonder sparks for the imagination of children…children and adults will find themselves identifying.”
The Courier News, IN

“Her charming stories have captured the hearts of countless thousands of children, from three to a-hundred-and-three.”
Hunterdon County Town & Country Living, NJ

“Kids just love the re-occurring antics of Ernest the tiny donkey with the big heart.”
Lehigh Valley Style

“Thousands of young readers are now experiencing the spirit and lessons of Barnesyard [Books] and anticipating the next tale.”
Animal Watch

“[The Ernest Series] offers the important message that outward appearance is not important, it is what inside that counts. These books will entertain and educate young readers.”
PETS Magazine

“So many books, so little space…here are few excellent recent releases that blend enlightenment and entertainment.Kids, age 4 and up, love the Ernest Series® for a good reason.  Ernest always manages to confront and resolve common dilemmas that carry subtle lessons on problem solving and friendship. Ernest will capture any kid’s heart.  Parents, too.”
The Star Ledger, NJ

“…a trilogy of a truly charming picturebook series…the beautifully presented watercolors bring three utterly charming tales to life and make the Ernest trilogy a welcome addition to any family, school, or community library picturebook collection.”
Midwest Book Review

“The endearing miniature donkey with the big ears is back for another adventure, much to the delight of little readers everywhere.”
The Canadian Horse

“[Ernest books] are wonderful sparks for the imagination. Twist and Ernest illustrates the beauty of true friendship. The perfect gift for the special children and grandchildren in your life, Teeny, Tiny Ernest tells of this little donkey coming to terms with being small in a way that all children and adults will find themselves identifying…Perhaps you’ll want to sit down with one of your favorite little people, and enjoy these delightful children’s books!”
Country Coach magazine

“In Teeny Tiny Ernest the animals relay the age-old message – “Size doesn’t matter.  It’s who you are that matters”…the illustrations assign plenty of personality to the barnyard animals.  Both the story and the illustrations have a light, airy feel to them.  Children will enjoy reading and listening to this book.”
School Library Journal

“Ernest is irresistible.”
The Intelligencer, PA

“These endearing characters [in Ernest and the BIG Itch] teach a simple lesson of tolerance, patience and friendship…Attractively illustrated, children will enjoy searching for the tiny ladybug hidden within each illustration.”
-Helen Rosenberg, American Library Association, Booklist

“The ink and watercolor illustrations are simple and sweet, especially pictures of Ernest, who looks like a huggable stuffed animal.”
-Ilene Copper, American Library Association Booklist

Teeny Tiny Ernest is a charming book which conveys an important lesson – being true to yourself – in a friendly and encouraging way.”
The Reader’s Edge

Twist and Ernest is a story about friendship that captures the importance of accepting one another regardless of differences.The illustrations in soft watercolors in earth-and-natural tones are realistic and appealing.The facial expressions of the animals reflect the sentimentality of the story.”
School Library Journal

Twist and Ernest is a lovely story about the development of a friendship between two who are very different.”
Children’s Literature Reviews

Ernest and the BIG Itch – Important life lessons about resolving differences, cooperation and the art of making new friends are interwoven in an endearing tale.”
Independent Publisher

“You don’t get any cuter than Ernest. This third in the Ernest Series® follows the adorable donkey as he searches for a way to scratch his enormous itch.”
Nashville Parent

“Three books about a miniature donkey named Ernest top metroparent’s list of excellent animal books for children.”

“Ernest and the BIG Itch – a wonderful tale about life lessons and cooperation as the whole gang searches for a solution and meets a new friend in the process.”
Ventura County Parent Magazine

“[Ernest books] are wonder sparks for the imagination of children. Children and adults will find themselves identifying.”
The Courier News, IN

“Important life lessons are gently woven into fun farmyard tales with imagination and a lighthearted sense of humor…The stories come to life in the beautiful watercolor illustrations of Carol A. Camburn…Children of all ages will fall in love with these loveable characters and their adventures…They are perfect discussion starters, bedtime stories or books that children pick up and read themselves.”
Today’s Horse

“Thousands of children – and their parents – have already fallen in love with Ernest and his barnyard friends.  [Ernest and the BIG Itch]   while children sometimes have a hard time understanding the importance of finding ways to resolve differences, kids will grasp the principle in a fun way through this book.”
Horse News

“Ernest the donkey can’t read, but he’s helped thousands of children to learn.”
Courier News, NJ

“These heartwarming stories illustrate the importance of persistence, acceptance and friendship.”
Nouveau magazine

“Twist and Ernest is a smart story with lessons about the persistence and openness of friendship.”
The Book Reader

Teacher/Librarian Comments

The following are a sampling of comments from teachers, librarians, and parents:

“I can not thank you enough for such a great day on Friday. The day flew by and all of the kids had a great time. I wish all author days went as smoothly and easily. Can not wait for the new book to come out!!! Give Ernest and the gang a kiss from me!!”
– Jacquie Daddato
Southampton Twp. School, Southampton, NJ

“Thank you again for the terrific program you provided for our students. They thoroughly enjoyed it. So did I! I’ll be using your lesson for writing stories for many years…You gave me great ideas to use next year and you validated how I teach writing. I will treasure your books forever.”
-Valerie Newman
Woodbine Elementary, Woodbine, NJ

“I wanted to let you now what a wonderful time our school had during your visit. Not only were the students excited, but the teachers couldn’t stop talking about you…Your shoes will be hard to fill.”
-Mary Dancer
New Egypt Elementary School, New Egypt, NJ

“Great job! Everyone enjoyed and benefited from your talk.”
-Mrs. Hendee
Woodbine Elementary, Woodbine, NJ

“Our students thoroughly enjoyed your visit to our school…[we] are looking forward to Ernest’s next adventure.”
-Joanne Clair, 2nd Grade
Pearson School, Delanco, NJ

“Thank you very much for writing your wonderful books. My students have enjoyed all of them…we have used them for many Language Arts activities.”
-Janelle Catto, 2nd Grade
General Nash Elementary, Harleysville, PA

“Thank you for a wonderful author visit. I heard you speak at Barnes & Noble and have been in love with Ernest ever since!”
-Michele Rider
Blackwood Elementary, Blackwood, NJ

“Thank you for sharing your work with us during our Literacy Celebration. It was truly a pleasure to meet you and gain insight about the development of Twist and Ernest and Teeny Tiny Ernest. I am sure the Ernest Series will become a staple among school teachers!”
-Daine Stanojev, Holy Family College
Newtown, PA

“Your books are wonderful…The themes of friendship and of being yourself are important lessons for children to learn…kids will identify with Ernest…I plan to use your books in my lesson curriculum.”
-Michael Salmon, teacher
Newtown, PA

“I am excited to integrate the Ernest Series into my classroom curriculum. It will be a pleasure to utilize your books with my students and I’m sure the values they learn from the series will stay with them throughout their lives.”
-Gary Garretson, teacher
Bucks County, PA

“Ernest is an adorable character…I believe his tales have the potential to become classic children’s literature.”
-Karen Marasco
Newtown, PA

“Congratulations on creating a format for others to share in the values and messages so critical for our young learners.”
-Ed Grugan
Holy Family College

“The Ernest Series will always be a part of my classroom and my future educational lessons.”
-Deanna Cohn
Holy Family College

“I wanted you to know how much we enjoyed your visit. People are still talking about it. It was such a great, great day.”
-Shelley Lyman, Desmares
Elementary, Flemington, NJ

“It was a great day.  Many staff members made it a point to tell me how much they enjoyed your presentation.  Thanks so much.  You were great with the kids.”
-Nancy Piperno
Warwick Elementary, Jamison, PA

“Your presentation was wonderful!  The children loved your books and learning about all that is involved in creating them.”
-Jean Sheninger
Francis A. Desmares Elementary
Flemington, NJ

“Thank you for writing books about Ernest.  We think he is cool!  If you keep writing, we will keep reading because we love Ernest!”
-Mrs. Ninaltowski’s Kindergarten
Delaware Twp. School, NJ

“Thank you for your presentation on April 21st at Fosterfields!  Everyone had wonderful reports about what you said and did!”
-Joan Schaible
Fosterfields, Morristown, NJ

“Thank you once again for a truly delightful visit!”
-Nancy Hallowell
Deep Run Presbyterian Nursery School, Bedminster, NJ

“I just wanted to thank you for coming and sharing your book with the students.  My students have been waiting to meet a ‘real’ author.  We had been talking about what it takes to be an author, and your visit became a perfect role model.  Again, thanks for your time and effort spent with our kids.”
-Debbie Anderson
4th Grade Teacher, Colton Elementary, OR

“Your books haven’t been back on the shelf since 1st checkout!  The students adore them.”
– Sheryl Harrington, Librarian
Colton Elementary School, Oregon

“This delightful second book will be welcomed by kids, parents and teachers alike.  What a special book to remind us all that who we are comes from within, not from our outward appearances.”
– Dr. Alan Elko, Superintendent
North Brunswick Public Schools

“The Students and staff would like to extend their thanks for a wonderful presentation.  The response has been nothing but positive.  The children all enjoyed your talk about how to make books, how to come up with topics to write about, and loved listening to the story of Twist and Ernest … The teachers were impressed with the gentle, soft-spoken way you handled the children and how you kept their interests.  Thank you again for a wonderful exhibit of your work and your special talent.”
– Marcy Calamito, Language Arts Coordinator, Kingwood Township School
Frenchtown, NJ

“Thank you so much for visiting our school and sharing Twist and Ernest.  The story is delightful and enjoyed by everyone.  We are anxiously awaiting your September 2000 visit and learning more about your next book.”
– Sandy Keisey, 2nd Grade Teacher, Delaware
Twp School, Stockton, New Jersey

“I want to thank you personally for coming to my daughter’s school.  She was so excited to meet you and have you read Twist and Ernest.  She couldn’t stop talking about you and the book”
– Kelly Meyer, Bedminster, PA

“I loved the lesson behind the story, ‘A friend different than he ever imagined.  But sometimes they are the best friends of all.’  This is a wonderful discussion starter for teachers.”
– Carolyn Simon,  3rd Grade teacher, Colton Elementary School, Portland, Oregon

“I want to let you know how much your book was truly loved by the students.  I am sure it will be cherished by many.”
– Heather Kampf,  4th Grade Student Teacher, Hillcrest Elementary School, Holland, PA

“I loved Twist and Ernest.  We have spent the entire school year focusing on the saying.  ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.’  “The story would have helped students grasp the concept much earlier on.  I plan to use this story every year to help communicate this message.”
– Kellie LaFollette,  4th Grade Teacher, Colton Elementary School, Portland, Oregon

“I personally feel that your books were inspirational for creating meaningful lesson plans for my second and third grade students.”
-Grace Heany, Mott Elementary, NJ

“Enchanting!  Families will love this book.  A warm, happy story with a loving message!”
-Mary Ann Crozier, Coordinator of Children’s Services, Bucks County Free Library,
Doylestown, PA

“My kids relate quite well to Ernest since they are both the smallest in their classes. Your books have been very inspirational as well as entertaining.”
-Tim Murphy, Retail Director, Saatchi & Saatchi

“I’ll be getting all books for myself and my grandkids…God did a good thing blessing us with YOU!”
-Claudia, Larkspur, CO

“I’m charmed by your story!…I can’t wait to give copies to all the kiddies on my list!”
-M. Ferrie

“I was glad to have a story that pointed out that most of the time, you are more aware of your differences than others are. More importantly, people usually are not even aware of them, much less bothered by them. For some reason he (my son) didn’t believe me, but he believed Ernest. I have found that he quietly picks up the book and reads it. Afterwards he walks just a bit taller. I thank you for giving him a new sense of worth.”
-Lynn Wambach, Holy Family College, Newtown

“Your books have had a tremendous impact on my 6 year old, Daniel. He just has not stopped talking about Ernest. …now I know why he loves Ernest so much. I really enjoyed the story, it was great!! Terrific moral and it was nice that we could talk about what it is like to be different and how to accept all types of people. Thank you for touching my son (and me).”
-Jane Wasserman, Flemington, NJ

“The kids love your books and so do I!”
-Marcie Seinberg, Meadowbrook, PA

“Phillip liked it so much he insisted on sleeping with the book last night. When I tried to take it away as he drifted off to sleep, he woke up crying for me to give it back. Anthony liked it too and wants me to include our reading of it as part of his ‘book it’ program. A program at his schools that encourages kids to read…”
-Dave DiRenzo, Bala Cynwyd, PA

“You might want to expand this age range [perfect gift for children ages 4-8]. I am 70 years old and love these little books.”
-Viva Meeks, Timpson, TX

“I hope that we continue to find ways to promote Ernest to the world!”
-Maddie Hjulstrom, CRM, Barnes & Noble

“We so much appreciate how generous you are to share your time and stories with so many curious children. Your stories are very special and remind us of Beatrix Potter …We love the photos of the ‘real Ernest’ which have delighted our own children from the first time we read Twist and Ernest…Your unique and honest style teaches kids that ‘creativity’ is often inspired directly from nature. This is the best lesson of all!”
-The Jarbue Family, Stockton, NJ

Kids Quotes

“You taught me a big lesson to never give up no matter what and to not judge anyone or anything by the outside but in the inside.”
-Ashley, 4th Grade, Colton, ORAuthor, Laura Barnes during classroom visit

“I loved your book Twist and Ernest.  It was fun, fun, fun, fun, fun to hear the book.”

“If you’re looking for a book for your kids, you should get Ernest and the Big Itch.  My favorite part is when the birds think it’s an earthquake.”
-Devin, 3rd Grade

“When I’m student of the week and they ask me what my favorite book is, I’m going to say all the Ernest books.”
-Breanne, Newtown, PA

“If you need a book that is not boring, get Ernest and the Big Itch because you can read it to all ages.  It teaches a lesson that if someone has a problem, you should not make them leave.  Instead, you should help them.”
-Anthony, 3rd Grade

“I love all your books.  They make me feel happy.”

“You opened me to a whole new series of books.  I have loved your books ever since.  My favorite book is Teeny Tiny Ernest because Ernest learns that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, but what is inside of you.”
-Olivia, 3rd Grade

“I like your books the most.  They are very, very, very, very cool.”

“You came to my school.  You talked about Ernest and Twist.  I had a lot of fun.  You signed my book!  You are my favorite author in the whole universe.  I love your books.”

“If you want a good book for your kids you should get Ernest and the Big Itch.  This book has an important lesson.  That lesson is to help people even if you didn’t want to.  If you like to find things, this is the book for you because there is a ladybug on every page.”
-Alex, 3rd Grade

“I really enjoyed hearing the book Twist and Ernest from the author that made it.  I really, really, really wish you could come back to visit us soon!  I will always cherish Friday, March 17, 2000 because that was the day I finally met you.  I hope you enjoyed your visit as much as I did.”
-Nina, 4th Grade, Colton, OR

“Thank you for coming to Penn Valley.  We loved your books.  We hope you come back.”
-Samantha, Levittown, PA

“My favorite character is Chipper.  He is cool.  Ernest and the Big Itch will be a big hit.  I love all three books you made.”
-Sean, 3rd Grade

“I read your book Teeny Tiny Ernest and really liked it.  I am short also so it helped me know it doesn’t matter that I am short.”
-Ethan, Gutherie Center, IA

“Thank you for traveling all the way across the country to see us.  You have a very kind heart.  I had a great time with you and your book is very cute. I really liked Teeny Tiny Ernest.  I learned that it really doesn’t matter what’s on the outside; it’s what’s on the inside and to keep trying and not give up.  You are a great person.”
-Emily, Colton, OR

“I think that lots of people should read the book Ernest and the Big Itch.  It is a very good book and you would love it if you were either a parent or child.  It is funny in many ways.”
-Shannon, 3rd Grade

“Thank you so much for coming to visit our school.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  I think it is so neat that you can work on a book with kids and actually use kids’ ideas.  You are one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life, but most of all, I am writing and thanking you because your book taught me a lesson, a lesson that told me not to judge people by their cover.”
-Alexandra, Colton, OR

“I like all your books.  My favorite character is Ernest because he is funny and cute.  He’s like a kid who could talk to the animals and he could help their problems.”
-Chad, 3rd Grade

“Thank you for reading to us.  You are the best author in the world!  I love your books.”

Ernest and the Big Itch teaches you compromise.  It also has very good pictures.  There are very good descriptive words.”
-Tyler, 3rd Grade

“Thank you for coming to our school.  I had fun when you read the story to us.  I think that you are nice and lovely in your heart and on the outside.  I learned from Twist and Ernest not to judge anyone by their cover.”
-Tonya, 4th Grade, Colton, OR

“Ernest helped Chipper by giving him hay to clean up his birdhouse.  I liked when they helped each other.  I think [everyone] should read [Ernest and the BIG Itch] because it helps you learn.”
-Kristine, 3rd Grade

“I like your books very much!  All the kids in my class do too!”

“My favorite book is Twist and Ernest. Thank you for taking your time to come to our school.  Your books are more than terrific.”
-Dylan, 3rd Grade

“I’m excited that you’re introducing your new book to the world from our school.  My favorite character is Twist.  I like Twist because I love horses.  I think you should put yourself in one of your books and maybe a dog.”
-Katelyn, 3rd Grade

“Thank you for coming to our school.  I really enjoyed your visit.  You are a fantastic author!  Your books are the best!”

Ernest and the Big Itch is two thumbs up.  It is a great book.  My favorite part was when Chipper’s birdhouse started to shake.  I like how Laura Barnes uses her own animals in her stories.  I like how Chipper and Ernest worked together so Ernest could scratch his itch.”
-Aurora, 3rd Grade

“Thank you for coming to our school.  I love your books.  They’re my favorites.”

“My favorite character is Ernest because he’s small, cute and goes ‘hee haw’.”
-Helen, 3rd Grade

“Thank you for coming to our school.  Can you come again?  Ernest is sooooooo cool.”

“I love your books.  You’re a great writer.  You have written really funny books.”

“My favorite book is Teeny Tiny Ernest and my favorite character is Ernest.  Thanks for coming to our school.”
-Deanna, 3rd Grade

“Your books are more than terrific.  Every time I look into one of your books, on almost every page I see a butterfly, a bee or a bluebird.  I really liked all three books.  Thanks for coming to our school.”
-R.J., 3rd Grade, Delaware Twp. School, NJ

Ernest and the Big Itch is a great story.  The illustrations are magnificent.  My favorite part was when he itches on a birdhouse.  I think people should read this book.”
-Matt, 3rd Grade

“Ernest made new friends by helping and sharing also by being kind.  I really think that’s how you make friends.  [Ernest] teaches lessons is to be kind, help and share and you can make new friends.”
-Sydney, 3rd Grade

“You should read Ernest and the Big Itch because it’s exciting and cool.”
-Ben, 3rd Grade

“Do you want your children to learn a lesson?  Then Ernest and the Big Itch is for you!  Your children learn that you should help people or things even when you might be mad at them.  And it’s even like an I Spy book!  Look for the ladybug.”
-Sonya, 3rd Grade

“I love Twist and Ernest!  It’s my favorite book. Can you read it again?”
Maddie, age 8, Newtown, PA

“I like Laura Barnes’ books because they’re easy to read and very interesting for kids.  In every book you have to find an animal like a butterfly, a bee or a ladybug!”
-Kathleen, 3rd Grade

“You should read [Ernest and the BIG Itch] because it teaches you a lesson to compromise.  The other lesson is to make friends.”
-Katelyn, 3rd Grade

“Ernest its great! You should never judge somebody by what they look like.”
-Dean, age 7, Morristown, NJ