Are You Ready to Kick Off Your Shoes and Live Barefoot?

Posted by Debbie van Grieken on

Debbie Story Time Barefoot Books

At the age of 8, I developed a love for books when my older brother read me The Hobbit. This event led me to major in English and a career at the Public Library.

After 16 years as Literacy Co-ordinator and Library Technician, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own business.

Though it started as a business selling fair trade products, I could not resist the temptation of adding books into the mix once learning about a great eco company out of Boston. 

I first met Nancy Traversy and Tessa Strickland, friends and co-founders of Barefoot Books in 2014.  They started publishing children’s books over 24 years ago when their children were very young and they cultivated a way of “Living Barefoot”.

What does it mean to Live Barefoot?

Simply put it means to “Share Stories. Connect Families and Inspire Children.”

Living Barefoot is about “believing in the transformative power of story telling!” I love a good story especially one that passes along a great value, moral or lesson. Barefoot books prides itself on publishing books that “celebrates the art of story making in all of its forms: in songs and stories, arts and crafts, music and movement."

It also means “honouring diversity in every sphere of life: cultural and social, ecological and economic; emotional and spiritual Raising children to be global citizens is more important today than ever before. Having access to diverse books is such an asset to caregivers, and I’m so proud to be able to help put these books into children’s hands. 

Living Barefoot is about “treading softly” we need to respect our Earth. Barefoot Books uses green business practices. They use recycled papers, vegetable dyes, and do limited print runs to reduce waste. They plant trees to replace what they take and to lower their environmental footprint.

I love that Barefoot Books encourages “creative play remembering that to play is to learn.”

Kids need to be kids! They need to explore, touch, see, feel, and smell. That’s how they process and understand their world. Children can “make mistakes, laugh and cry, learn a little more and start again!”

Living Barefoot is knowing, “that everyone can make a difference and everyone has the right to be here”. Every child wants to feel loved and to feel special.

When you put a child in your lap and share a story together its like you press the pause button on the world, things slow down. Children and adults live in the moment, they create a bond, they snuggle, they rock or sway with the movements of the story, and they connect! Living Barefoot is about making connections.

Connecting to our mind, body, soul, and our world most importantly it's about “stepping into our power as individuals who know that together we are part of something more powerful than we can be on our own.”

Now go ahead and kick off your shoes and live your life Barefoot!! 

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