Barefoot Books is an award winning, independent children’s publisher, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the U.S.A. and Oxford in the U.K. It was formed by two mothers in 1992, who wanted their children to have high quality, bright coloured picture books, but which also carried spiritual and ecological messages, and a respect for cultural diversity across the globe.
Their books can be found in major book chains, independent book shops, and through Barefoot Ambassadors, people who are committed to the Barefoot message and ideology and who sell their books and products in your home, at your school or through other venues, such as fairs and festivals.
In the U.K. their headquarters in Summertown, Oxford, has a cafe and performance space as well as a book shop. There are performances and events scheduled throughout the year from yoga classes to story time to singalongs. There is a list of upcoming events available on the website, and their cafe has won prizes for its family friendly approach to dining, allowing you to happily spend the day there if you wish.
As well as books, many of which focus on retellings of traditional tales, such as The Enormous Turnip, folk tales, myths and legends, pirate tales, princess stories etc, there are educational products to supplement the reading material. Products include puzzles, cds and puppets.
The books are suitable for primary school and pre school children. Teenagers will struggle to find anything suitable unless they are particularly into mythology and folklore. The books are of a fantastically high quality and would make beautiful gifts.
There is a section for teachers, about what Barefoot can do for schools and how schools can be involved in Barefoot.
There is a Barefoot blog which is regularly updated with news from around the world about Barefoot’s achievements and aims.
There are also various forums available to both children and adults when you join the Barefoot family by registering on the website.
The site is colourful, easy to navigate and full of great resources to use.