Our busy, beautiful new word book, My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words, offers a beautifully modern depiction of the world our children experience every day. When deciding which scenes to include in the book, we chose not to reprise familiar children’s book settings like a circus or a supermarket, and instead decided to focus on creating settings that are true to the values of our community, like a library and a farmer’s market.
Of course, when we began crafting our farmer’s market scene, we immediately thought of our community of Ambassadors, so many of whom sell Barefoot Books at their local farmer’s markets. The original sketch showed a produce stand in the top left, but then we had an idea so crazy that it just might work . . .
We thought, who is more a part of Barefoot’s Wonderful World than our Ambassadors? That’s when we decided to create an Ambassador sales challenge we called Paint Yourself in a Barefoot Book. The top selling Ambassador in North America and the top seller in Europe for one quarter would win an amazing prize: being painted into the farmer’s market scene of My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words alongside their children.
We had to keep the illustrations for the book moving while we waited to hear who would win the challenge, so illustrator Sophie Fatus updated her sketch and replaced the produce stand with a Barefoot Books Ambassador booth populated by some placeholder characters.
We were thrilled when the winners were announced: Tammy Bristol in North America and Suzanne Johnson in Europe. Tammy and Suzanne sent us lots of photographs of themselves and their children, and gave us details about their families that we could weave into the illustrations. We learned all about Tammy’s sons — Noah, who loves tae kwon do and his green blanket Niece, and Asher, who is always on his tricycle. And Suzanne told us all about her curious daughter Freya, and the sweet baby she was expecting in the fall whom she planned to wear in her favorite turquoise sling.
Armed with all of this information, Sophie then revised her sketch to depict Tammy, Suzanne and their children. She even added a special guest to the booth whom didn’t make it into the final artwork — Editor-in-Chief Tessa Strickland!
The final painting wowed us all! Sophie did an amazing job of capturing Tammy, Suzanne and their children. And we were stunned at how perfectly she depicted an Ambassador booth, down to the many recognizable Barefoot Books in the booth! (Which ones can you spot?)
Our Ambassadors are the heart of Barefoot’s Wonderful World! Want to know more? You can learn more about the Ambassador Opportunity here.
If you could be painted into any Barefoot Book, which would you pick? Tell us in the comments!
Learn more and purchase My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words here!
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