It’s not so easy these days to teach our kids about being tolerant, respectful, inclusive and humane. The gold rule – “Treat others the way you want them to treat you” – seems to be challenged regularly on the global stage.
Thankfully, award-winning, multicultural children’s publisher Barefoot Books is offering diverse, inclusive and inspiring books. The publisher has just released The Barefoot Book of Children, a playful, powerful and thought-provoking celebration of both the big ideas and the everyday moments that reveal our common humanity.
With a seemingly regular series of unsettling events that our children are exposed to every day – graphic images of violence, contentious politics, and an undercurrent of division, uncertainty and anxiety – there is an increasing need for discourse at school and around the dinner table. From a very young age, children can understand, absorb and internalize the messages around them – either an “us versus them” attitude or a readiness to accept and value everyone.
Books spark children’s curiosity and nurture their imaginations. They also offer an essential and accessible resource for parents and educators to kickstart crucial conversations about topics children sometimes struggle to grasp, including differences in appearances, beliefs and lifestyles. With campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #1000BlackGirlBooks gaining ground, The Barefoot Book of Children facilitates important discussions about diversity and inclusivity. It is Peter Spier’s People or DK’s Children Just Like Me for the 21st century.
“This book encapsulates the mission that we have been committed to from the very beginning,” says Nancy Traversy, Co-founder and CEO of Barefoot Books. “Perhaps if we all start sharing its important message as far and wide as possible, we can begin to change the conversation and help build a better future for our children.”
“The Barefoot Book of Children is a colorful and hopeful celebration of childhood. It takes its readers on a visual trek across the globe, where they discover that – despite our different clothes and homes and languages – we are more alike than different. More than just an exploration of our commonalities, The Barefoot Book of Children is an affirmation of our inherent dignity as human beings.”
The Barefoot Book of Children is written by Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma, and illustrated by David Dean.
Co-founded in England in 1992 by Canadian-born Nancy Traversy, and now based in Cambridge, MA, Barefoot has published 600+ books for children that encourage discovery, compassion, creativity and global awareness. Its first app, Barefoot World Atlas, has 4 million downloads and its YouTube Channel has over 70 million views. Most importantly, over nearly a quarter of a century, Barefoot has put more than 20 million books into the hands of children around the world. With a mission to “Share Stories, Connect Families, and Inspire Children,” Barefoot is now leveraging its family brand with a social selling model that empowers women entrepreneurs.
And for the first time, the independent publisher’s extensive collection of children’s books and gifts will be available in Canadian dollars online and through its social selling community of independent Ambassadors. Barefoot will also ship directly to customers from a new warehouse in Milton, Ontario.
The company has about 200 Canadian Ambassadors, and a further 1000 in the US, who run entrepreneurial businesses selling Barefoot at in-home and online parties, book fairs and fundraisers, farmers’ markets, teachers’ conferences and other community events.
“As a proud Canadian, I am thrilled that Barefoot is coming home and delighted that our global story has come full circle,” says Nancy Traversy, Co-founder and CEO of Barefoot Books. “Since we began as a small home-based business in England nearly 25 years ago, we have been committed to publishing beautiful books for children that nurture creativity, compassion and global awareness, themes that I know will resonate strongly with Canadian families and educators. We are so excited about the enormous potential to grow our Ambassador community and look forward to getting as many books as possible into the hands of children across Canada.”