I love the way books travel; the way they crop up in quite unexpected places. But when I went over to New Zealand last month to tread in my grandmothers’ footsteps, I never expected to encounter our very own Barefoot bear! You can probably imagine my surprise and delight when I learnt that Bear on a Bike was the very favourite book of two three-year-old twins whose Mum works with my cousin Jeremy Jones in Blenheim. Here are the twins, Isabel and Alice, with me and their grandmother and of course, Bear!

 


Our favourite events each year have to be our annual Barefoot Books Ambassador Conferences. These weekend-long events in Oxford, England and Concord, Massachusetts are a great opportunity for Ambassadors from all over the globe to gather as one and experience the joy of Living Barefoot. Our Ambassadors represent the Barefoot mission and work hard to build businesses of their own. This year our Conferences are in May and we can’t wait for the sound of our community celebrating, laughing and bonding—it’s the true sound of spring for us!


Photo Courtesy of Niyam Raj Shrestha Kathmandu and Angel Chitraker Laliptur

Light for All is the campaign slogan for the solar tuki project in Nepal. I came across it when I was thinking about writing a story on ‘green issues.’  As I read about solar tukis I felt I had the basis for a story of a family living in a remote village in Nepal.  At first the story was to be about Chandra, the girl with the ‘moon name.’ But then I thought it would be nice if she had a big sister, Deena, and they would contrive together to get a solar tuki for the family. And then came baby Akash. The sisters have honey and herbs for Akash’s cough on their shopping list. So when Chandra discovers the solar tuki in the market, her first thought is for baby brother Akash and his bad chest.


Try this craft from Micha Archer, the illustrator of Lola’s Fandango, and make your very own Lola doll! This craft suggests using red and white materials to recreate Lola’s costume from the book, but feel free to get creative with your colors and patterns. Let your duende move you!


Today is the first annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day, designed to shine a light on great books for children that feature stories from around the world.
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One of my favorite things about working on Chandra’s Magic Light has been learning so much about Nepal. We tried to capture the essence of this incredible country while also telling a compelling story about two resourceful big sisters working together to help their sick baby brother. We did a lot of research to integrate the culture, beauty, and some of the challenges facing Nepali people today into this book. Here are some Nepali details in Chandra’s Magic Light:


 

We’re getting the new year off to a fabulous start with some big Barefoot steps forward.  We’ve acquired BabbaCo, the e-commerce subscription company dedicated to helping parents create fun, memorable experiences for their children.


Liz Flanagan Barefoot Books

When I read Starlight Grey and Cara and The Wizard to children in schools and workshops, they often ask, ‘How long did it take to make those books?’


2013 was an action-packed year for us at Barefoot Books. Here are some media highlights:


Boston Children’s Hospital provides health care for children who come from all over the world to be treated by its world class medical professionals. In addition to top-rate medical care, the young patients at the hospital have access to a team of professional artists or Artists-in-Residence to help them express their feelings.