Posts tagged ‘people’

Do your children enjoy music? Mine thrive on it – and so, it seems, do the children whose parents buy our Singalong Songs, and the families who like to spend time in our Oxford studio. I love to watch little ones sway and groove to the music we play as they explore the studio and its treasures.

This time last year, I was present-hunting in Exmouth Market, London, when I came across an enchanting selection of hand-woven cotton toys. When I noticed that they had been produced by a company called Barefoot Ceylon, I was even more intrigued. I bought two of the animals as Christmas gifts for Nancy and her husband Marty.

For Jewish people everywhere, Chanukah is a holiday that celebrates miracles and is often enjoyed with festive family celebrations that include the making (and eating!) of delicious potato pancakes called latkes, playing a game of dreidel, and lighting the candles of a menorah.

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.

I have always been fascinated by matrioshka – the traditional Russian dolls within dolls which are often so exquisitely decorated. Old-time Barefooters will remember a year when we were approached by two matrioshka manufacturers in the same season. One of them made a magnificent ‘Gigantic Turnip’ matrioshka, with a different animal depicted on each doll; the other made a ‘Babushka’ one. It goes without saying that these two are now my favourite matrioshka!

Today, we are excited to share with you the fifth in our series of posts highlighting members of the Barefoot Books team. Sarah Spencer, our Global Sales Director, gets to spend each day talking with people who love books, and particularly children’s books. Isn’t she lucky! Read on to learn more about her work at Barefoot Books!

I don’t usually blog on Fridays, but then I don’t usually find myself putting on my pyjamas when I get into work, and skidaddling down the road and round the corner to say hello to the Deputy Prime  Minister. Today was our fundraising day for Cutteslowe Primary School. We were all required by the redoubtable Fiona Ross to put on our best pyjamas and enter into the spirit of things. The children and teachers did the same — but no-one seemed to have got the pyjama piece of the message through to Nick Clegg. Never mind! We were still very excited to meet him and to introduce him to Ruby, to the business and to the Ambassador opportunity. Ruby’s creator, Kathryn White, came along too and did a fabulous job introducing Ruby to the children. And Beth was in overdrive as our official photographer!

A very warm thank you to all of the Barefoot Books Ambassadors who travelled from near and far to our US and UK conferences. It was a joy to meet you all in person and I came away feeling very inspired by the conversations I had. I have taken particular note of the many requests for a wordless book; watch this space! Meantime, here are some highlights from two memorable weekends: