Sunday, April 4, 2010

Our Core Values

We offer books that are an authentic alternative to the commercialization of childhood. We encourage children to make time for make-believe, let their imaginations run wild and free, while never forgetting that childhood is a time for fun.


We help children explore other cultures, our planet, and themselves, providing them with ways to follow their imaginations on extraordinary journeys, both inner and outer.


We believe that books with beautiful art and meaningful stories respect the innate wisdom of children and have the power to nourish the creative spark in everyone.


We are committed to using story to create deep and lasting connections—whether it’s a child and parent connecting over a book; a child connecting to the universal wisdom of other cultures; or a broad network of people connecting through shared values and the desire to help children become happy, engaged members of a global community.

Give Back

We support organizations that share our goals of global understanding, empowering children through art and story, and protecting and preserving the earth for future generations.

The Animal Boogie (Barefoot Books)

The Image of a Barefoot Child beckoned, "Follow me"

And so Barefoot Books began. We wanted bright, colorful books with wonderful art and captivating stories we could share as a family. We wanted rhyming rhymes, sing-along songs, and dance-along dances. We wanted tales that celebrated exotic places, magical creatures, and the wisdom of other traditions.  Most of all, we wanted beautiful books that would capture the imagination, spark curiosity, inspire creativity, and instill a respect for the diversity of the planet and for the earth itself.
There was also something about the way everyone, especially children, responded to books that were sophisticated, yet engaging, wise, yet fun. Soon we were a grassroots movement of parents and grandparents, friends and teachers, booksellers and librarians, authors and artists, and most of all children – who loved our stories, shared our values, and wanted to be part of our world-wide community.

Today, Barefoot Books is an independent publisher, with offices in Cambridge, MA, USA and Bath, England. We specialize in carefully crafted children’s books, CDs, games, puppets, puzzles, and gifts that celebrate enduring values and inspire creativity.

Barefoot Books are sold online, at our flagship stores in Cambridge, MA and in FAO Schwarz Manhattan, and through a global network of partners from Shanghai to San Francisco. We also provide ways for adults who love our books to become Barefoot Books Ambassadors, who can earn money, fundraise, and make a difference in children’s lives by marketing and selling Barefoot in their communities.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Founder of Barefoot Books

 Nancy Traversy

Owner, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Living Barefoot for me is creating beautiful, magical and authentic stories and art and bringing these to a grassroots, global community of people who care about how our next generation of children is raised. 

I was born in Canada into a family with a bit of an artistic bent. Though I love all aspects of colour, design, and illustration, I also kind of like numbers and somehow ended up with a business degree and a job in the banking division of Price Waterhouse in London after graduating. I really didn’t quite fit the mould there, so soon left to work in a more artistic environment in a London design house. I stayed in the design industry for many years, where I got to travel often to the Far East and learned lots about all aspects of running an entrepreneurial creative company. 

When I met Tessa in 1992, my eldest daughter was three weeks old and I had just started my own management consulting firm advising small creative start-ups. As a new mum and an avid explorer of world cultures, I was immediately captivated by the idea of publishing books for children that celebrated diversity and imagination. I didn’t really know much about the publishing industry back then and, in hindsight, that was probably lucky as Barefoot has always strived to be more of a pioneer than a follower.  

Over the next eight years, I had three more children and ran Barefoot from my home in north London. My kids were always around and actively involved in testing stories, picking artists and generally helping out. In 2001, we decided to cross the Atlantic so I could be closer to our North American business. Since then, I’ve lived in Concord, MA with my husband, four children, an ever-expanding menagerie of animals and lots of colour

The Animal Boogie Children's Song Book

Motherbridge of Love

With lyrical language, an optimistic message and breathtaking illustrations, this touching and intimate poem celebrates the special bond between adoptive children and their mothers.
  • Created in partnership with Xinran, acclaimed broadcaster, columnist and author of The Good Women of China, Sky Burial and Miss Chopsticks
  • Xinran’s London-based charity, Mother Bridge of Love (MBL) puts Western adoptive parents in touch with their children’s cultural heritage
  • Xinran became nationally famous as the voice behind China’s explosive radio program, ‘Words on the Night Breeze’ which gave women the chance to share their stories for the first time
  • Over 100,000 orphans have been adopted by families in 27 countries in the West since the 1980’s
  • Interest in China and cross-cultural exchanges between China and the West are rising to levels never seen before
Cherish the special bond between parent and child with this beautiful, anonymously written poem. Through the exchanges between a little girl and her adoptive parent, this poignant selection celebrates love and family.

Text royalties from this book are donated to Mother Bridge of Love, a charity that reaches out to Chinese children all over the world in order to develop a connection between China and the West, and between adoptive culture and birth culture. Xinran, the acclaimed Chinese author, broadcaster and journalist, is the founder of Mother Bridge of Love.

Click on the following link to purchase book: The Animal Boogie Children's Book

The Animal Boogie Children's Song Book

Free Animated Video of The Animal Boogie Available at:

From today, children and families can sing along with creatures of the Indian jungle in a free animated video of The Animal Boogie at One of Barefoot Books’ bestselling books, with more than a million copies sold, The Animal Boogie introduces children to the creatures of the Indian jungle with an adaptation of a popular playground song. The book has garnered many awards and has received praise for the inclusive way in which it speaks to children with disabilities.

The Animal Boogie, illustrated by Debbie Harter, whose endearing pictures also appear in the popular Barefoot Books Bear series, was first published by Barefoot Books in 2000. It has become a classroom favourite, used by teachers across the world to bring early learning to life through music and movement. The book has been a particular hit in south-east Asia, where it is widely used to teach children English.

“We are excited to give children the chance to watch the characters in The Animal Boogie brought to life in a new way. Everyone who hears the song can’t help but get up and dance; with the video, we’d like to get even more families on their feet,” said Barefoot Books Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, Tessa Strickland.

The Animal Boogie is the second in a series of digital videos created by Barefoot Books. The first, Driving My Tractor, (, sung by award-winning children’s performer Steve Songs, was launched in Autumn 2009 to wide acclaim. More popular Barefoot Books stories will be available in digital video format in the coming months.

About Barefoot Books
Barefoot Books is an independent publisher, with offices in Cambridge, USA and Bath, UK, that specializes in carefully crafted books, gifts and digital content that help children on their journey to becoming happy, engaged members of the global community. Since 1992, Barefoot Books has published more than 400 titles that use timeless stories and captivating illustrations to tap into the wisdom of many cultures, while never forgetting that childhood is a time for fun. Barefoot Books are available online, through booksellers, and its community of Ambassadors. For more information, visit