Posts tagged ‘parents’

It is always fascinating to follow the journeys books make once they have come into the world. One thing you can guarantee in advance is that their journeys will be unpredictable.

I had a rare, rewarding experience this year – a moment when all the various strands of my life seemed to align, offering a glimmer of validation for my role as a parent and for my work at Barefoot. In that moment, I was able to put all of the complexities of my life in refreshingly simple perspective. In August, I embarked on an unforgettable adventure with my eldest daughter Meaghan to create a children’s library in Sebikotane, a small village in Senegal in West Africa.

As you may have noticed, we are now on Pinterest! Via Pinterest you’re able to go behind the scenes at Barefoot Books: you’ll see some of the images and ideas that inspire our work.

A big thank you to everyone who responded to my recent blogpost on homework. I spent last week ill in bed with flue and during this time I was very interested to hear that Francois Holland, President of France, has just put a ban on homework. His argument is that ‘an education program is, by definition, a societal program. Work should be done at school, rather than at home.’

As I drove home to Somerset from Oxford last Friday, there was a lively debate on the radio about the merits and demerits of assigning homework to children at infant school.

On the author blog Picture Book Den Juliet Clare Bell shares how Cinnamon Stitch went from being a misreading of an advertisement to the feisty tomboy in The Kite Princessread her post here!



This post celebrates the safe arrival into the world on Thursday 27 September of Seth and Jasper. These twin baby boys are the first grandchildren of Kathryn White, creator of our imaginative young heroine Ruby (as in Ruby’s School Walk and Ruby’s Sleepover), so I like to think I can appropriate them as Barefoot Babies.

This summer, I stayed with a good friend who has educated both of her daughters at a local Waldorf school. Somehow or other, we found ourselves talking about the challenge of screens and mobile devices in family life and how this affects intimacy between parents and children. I found myself remembering the early body language of a little girl whose Mum was more often than not on her mobile phone while she was going about her day, head and neck tilted towards her right shoulder. When she started walking independently, her daughter mimicked this body language, tilting her own head and neck over to the right and hunching up her shoulder. Happily, her Mum realised the error of her ways and took more care about when she used her phone and how.

Today, we are excited to share with you the sixth in our series of posts highlighting members of the Barefoot Books team. Katie Livesey, Commissioning Editor, uses her sharp eyes and ears to find new stories to bring to the growing list of Barefoot Books titles. She is also quite the world traveler – here she is in Tanzania, next to a river full of crocodiles and hippopotami! Read on to learn more about Katie and her work at Barefoot Books!


Ever since 1986, the month of September has carried a particular quality for me. This is the month in which I became a mum for the first time. I had stopped working at Penguin Books at the end of August, and my due date was the 20th. So for almost three weeks, I was free to do what I liked. I spent most of my time walking about the London parks, watching the light turn to honeyed gold in the way that only happens in September, resting every now and then on park benches and wondering what it would be like to be a mother. Of course, I had no idea. I just knew that my life was going to change in ways that were unimaginable – and indeed it did.