I learned to read at a very early age, thanks to my dad, and have been a bit of a bookworm ever since. I love finding unique books, retellings of classic stories, books that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Often this is through a garage sale, sometimes the library, but usually the books I see, especially for kids, are of well-loved characters, celebrated authors and/or popular among the young set. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But, sometimes, I’m looking for something special that can’t be found on the shelves at the local book stores.
Barefoot Books is an independent publisher based in the UK. What started as a home based business in 1992 between two moms has become a thriving international business with offices in both the UK and the US. They publish and distribute carefully crafted children’s books, as well as CDs, games, puppets, puzzles and gifts which are available mainly through Barefoot Ambassadors – Independent Consultants for Barefoot Books. Like many others, they have adopted a direct selling model to support other moms who wish to indulge their entrepreneurial spirit while bringing quality literature and educational materials to families across the globe.
The products available through Barefoot Books are loved for celebrating enduring values, inspiring creativity and capturing the imagination of young and old alike. Their combination of breathtaking artwork and captivating storytelling creates a book that they will want to read again and again – in the same night! The illustrations alone spark curiosity, and inspire conversation while the stories instill a respect for cultural, social and ecological diversity.
The books can be roughly fit into four categories :
1. Fun First Steps — colourful and playful books and sing-alongs for babies and toddlers, many of which also feature a CD\CDROM of the story/song and some are set to familiar tunes
2. Natural Child — books which teach healthy habits and respect for our planet
3. Travel the World – books which introduce the social or physical geographies of different countries and regions
4. Tell Me a Story – books which tell stories that have stood the test of time and modern classics
Since my kids are 6 years apart, we read a couple different books for review purposes. Space Song Rocket Ride is from the Fun First Steps selection and is a vibrantly illustrated sing-along book complete with CD that explores our galaxy and what it is composed of. Set to the tune of The Green Grass Grew All Around, the book takes us on a rocket ride through space giving accurate information in a fun and catchy way. And to make sure they were passing along educational info, Barefoot Books collaborated with an Astronomer and educator with Brown’s University. At the end of the story, there are a couple of pages filled with facts about space, asteroids, black holes and more to satisfy all those burning questions your little one will have, the musical score and of course, the CD which, when played in a computer, plays the animated version of the book. We read this book three times in a row the first night, and he found new things to point out each time in the beautiful illustrations. He’s even beginning to sing it with me!
My daughter, being 9, thought her little bro’s book was lots of fun and she enjoys reading it to him. But she really enjoyed having a book of her own. Winter Shadow is a chapter book with beautiful acrylic illustrations. It centers on Maria who, at my daughter’s age, adopts an unlikely companion to the dismay of the village in which she lives. Despite disapproval, the young girl follows her heart and finds a best friend. My daughter loves to read books about kids in her age group and she enjoys heart warming stories. Winter Shadow was just that and more, and was a great lesson in being true to yourself, something that can be so hard to do at that age when many are trying so hard to be like someone else.
We really enjoyed our experience with Barefoot Books thanks to Barefoot Ambassador Jen Allan, who is a local distributor of not only books, but puzzles, games, puppets all chosen to encourage education and foster creativity. Orders can be placed directly through her Barefoot Explorers website, but she also does Barefoot Books parties, book fairs at schools, fundraising, story time and more!
I find parties the best way to go when it comes to buying from a Direct Selling company. Not only is it an excuse to hang out with friends, but it is also a chance to earn rewards like discounts and free products! For any local readers who wish to throw a party, reference BC MOM to get a free book for booking.
In time for the holidays, our Barefoot Ambassador Jen is having a site wide sale with 20% off of everything from Nov. 26-Dec. 3! Please be aware though, that since Barefoot Books is a US company, 15% will be charged for exchange, but if you live in the Greater Vancouver Area, Jen will happily deliver the books tax-free for no extra fee. Don’t live near by? Don’t fret! Contact Jen directly referencing BC MOM and you will receive a special coupon code to apply to your online order so you can still benefit. To ensure delivery before Christmas, order deadline is December 8.
Want to win one of these books? Visit Jen Allan’s Barefoot Explorers online store and take a look around, then come back here and tell us which item you would choose if you won! It’s that simple! Giveaway ends 12/4
For an extra entry, Sign up for her newsletter and mention in a separate comment that you did!
We also happen to know that you should keep an eye on their Facebook page where a separate draw will be done once they reach their first milestone!
With so many chances to win and save on these beautifully unique books and gifts, I encourage you all to check it out. So…what would you choose if you won? Tell us in the comments!
(Disclaimer: we were provided with free materials to facilitate this review but as always, opinions expressed are our own.)