Holli and I met several years ago in college. Since then, we have become very close friends. We’ve gone through many things together, including our pregnancies, as she was only a handful of weeks behind me!
Holli is now an Ambassador for Barefoot Books. I'm so excited for her, because she has wanted to do this for a while. She went all out before her first books even arrived, preparing to use this as an opportunity to give back to her community! I am so proud of her, especially since her little is even younger than Bean!
She generously sent us a book to review, called "I Dreamt I was a Dinosaur." It is seriously the cutest book! As soon as it came in, I read it to Bean. He loved the vibrant colors and pictures (and apparently the taste of the board book)! I thought the story was cute, and the artistry behind the illustrations is awesome. The book is well-made, as it has stood up to several hours of corner chewing already. It’s even been a learning experience for me, pronouncing these dino names. Haha! I would definitely recommend these books to my friends (and readers), and look forward to ordering more for Bean!
Since I had never heard of Barefoot Books before, I asked Holli a few questions about the company, and about her roll as an Ambassador.
1. In your own words, can you tell me a bit about Barefoot Books?
Barefoot Books is an award-winning publisher of children's books. It was started by two mums in England in the early 1990s and has grown from there. Barefoot Books is committed to connecting children and families through a love of reading, and to showing children the diversity and beauty of other cultures through their books and gifts.
2. What made you decide to become a representative?
I first considered becoming a Barefoot Books ambassador early last year after having the opportunity to purchase several books for my (at the time unborn) daughter. I was impressed by not only the quality of the books, but also the vibrant colors and fun stories. As a Mom of mixed heritage, I also appreciated that Barefoot often includes families of many different heritages in their books.
By the time my daughter made her debut in August, my husband and I both knew we wanted me to be able to stay home with her for as long as possible. After much prayer and discussion, we felt Barefoot Books was the best direction for me to go.
3. What are some ways that Barefoot Books, and you as a representative, are helping the community?
Barefoot Books is very passionate about giving back to the community through organizations such as the First Book National Book Bank and Everybody Wins. A few years ago they even opened a Barefoot Books library for children in Senegal!
Barefoot Books is also committed to being green! At the corporate level, they're committed to recycling as much as possible; the inks with which the books are printed are vegetable based, and much of paper used is recycled. (http://www.barefootbooks.com/about-us/sustainability/)
As a representative, I am able to partner with schools for book fairs, as well as individuals and organizations for fundraisers. Currently, I am helping my Mom raise funds for a trip to an orphanage in Honduras this summer. I've been stocking up on some of the bilingual books for her to take for the kids there. I am partnering with a local children's consignment store to offer a free, monthly story time, which I'm really excited to start!
4. How important to you is literature for children? Why?
As a child, books were some of my best friends! I was the kid in the class who got in trouble for reading something other than the textbook.
Many studies have shown how reading to children from an early age helps them developmentally. On a personal note, some of my best childhood memories are memories of bedtime stories with my parents. Reading brings families together. In our society that is constantly on the go, reading brings the gift of time spent together for families,
5. How has Barefoot Books helped you and your family? Where do you see this business taking you?
Barefoot Books has given me an opportunity to help my family financially while being home with our daughter. As the wife of a soldier, I have learned A LOT about making a little go a long way. I feel through my Barefoot Books business that I will be able to help us save for some of our goals; a family vacation and a savings fund for our little one. Having my own business is a stretching experience and teaching me to be more confident in my decisions. I see my Barefoot Books business growing to a point to help us build savings, pay debt, and my big goal-taking a family trip to Oxford, England to visit the original Barefoot Books store!
Like the sound of Barefoot Books? Find Holli on Facebook here: Holli’s Barefoot Book Corner
Want a chance to win a copy of “I Dreamt I was a Dinosaur”? Enter below! Winner will be drawn at 12pm EDT Friday, January 16th!
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.