Meet Lizanne Eastwood, your local book fairy.
Let me ask you this. What is Christmas without BOOKS!! Especially beautifully artistic, picture books with stories that pull you into a whole new world of wonder and fun and adventure.
Lizanne is passionate about literacy, and so she’s chosen the perfect job – bringing little ones the joy of reading. The books she’s selling are amazingly colourful and enticing. She has so many things to offer you, everything to do with the world of literacy, including
all the things that will draw your little ones into an imaginary world. A world we all need in order to develop our creative side. A world that we’ve lost a little bit in our love for electronics.
Here is our interview with her:
Tiff: Tell us a little about you and how you became passionate about literacy – specifically literacy for young children.
Lizanne: I grew up in a family that valued reading and treasured books. We all had our own bookshelves, and Christmas or birthdays always included books as gifts for the kids. I don’t remember when I learned to read, but I know that it was before I attended kindergarten, so I must have picked it up from watching and listening to my siblings reading, watching my parents enjoy books and being read to. We were a household rich in books and all sorts of reading materials. I was the type of kid that my mother had to keep trying to get me out of my room where I would be reading and to go play outside. Usually I would just take a book outside with me and find a quiet place in the yard to read!
My siblings and I all started working at our local library when we were 14 and I worked there all through high school and university. My favourite job was sorting and shelving children’s books. It probably took me longer than most people because I needed to look inside every book, enjoying the illustrations and text. As an adult I still get a lot of enjoyment from children’s books, so as well as working at our local library, having a homebased business selling Barefoot Books keeps me really immersed in all sorts of wonderful children’s literature. I truly believe that the more children are read to, especially before they even start school, the more likely they are to have successful outcomes, not only in school but in life!
Tiff: What are Barefoot Books? How are these books unique and special from other children’s books?
Lizanne: Barefoot Books started 25years ago as a home based business by two moms. The wanted to share books that celebrated diversity, beautiful art and writing as well as sparking the imagination. Their books are often heirloom quality, which I really appreciate. The books that Barefoot Books carry encourage mindfulness, critical thinking and helping children figure out how they can make a difference in their world. The collection has expanded to include cooperative games, which celebrate play over competition, activity cards that develop awareness of healthy living; yoga, mindfulness, gardening and cooking and bilingual books in both French and Spanish. I especially like the stories in the books come from all over the world, making it a great way for kids to celebrate other cultures and diverse families… These books help teach empathy and an understanding and appreciation of what others are going through.
Tiff: We’d love to hear, from your perspective, why books are a wonderful gift to give? What are some of your favourite books that you have available?
Lizanne: I love that the collection contains classic fairytales and rhyme books as well as a bunch of new books that are focused on STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art, and math), which are important things for children to be learning right now. Books and games are such great gifts to give because they are meant to be shared. Children and adults, cozily reading together or playing with puppets and boardgames just speaks of quality time to me.
Barefoot carries a line of large lap books that I just adore. The “Who’s in the Garden, Forest or Farmard” are fabulous books that just beg to be read together. “Listen, Look” and “I took the Moon for A Walk” are gorgeously illustrated and inspire curiosity about the natural world. It’s hard to say what my favourite books are, each one is so unique and perfect in its own way. They recently came out with a new book called The Barefoot Book of Children. This is a beautiful book that portrays children around the world doing everyday things and big ideas that make childhood so special. It’s a great read-aloud or explore on your own kind of book. I like that Barefoot includes end notes in many of their books that extend the learning with activities and facts.
Tiff: Why do you choose to live here in GF?
Lizanne: Of course my answer has something to do with books! I grew up in Toronto, and after University I really craved a back-to-the-land, small town lifestyle, I was inspired by the Little House on the Prairie series! I wanted a safe place to raise my children, and a place I could garden or know who was growing my food, I wanted to live somewhere you could walk down the street and recognize and greet everyone you saw, a place where people know and care about their neighbours. I have definitely found that in Grand Forks. Also, I am attracted to the natural world and I love that no matter where you are in Grand Forks you just need to look around and see beautiful vistas changing with the seasons.
Tiff: What is your favourite part of GF?
Lizanne: I have always appreciated the saying that you are really privileged if your career reflects your passions in life. I have totally found that here in Grand Forks. Working as a parent-child Mother Goose trainer and facilitator, programming at our library (Storytime!) and selling Barefoot Books have all allowed me to indulge in my passions; children, parenting and books. Lucky me! Meeting families at these programs and watching the kids grow into amazing teens, and then leaving town only to return to start their own families, I think that is an awesome privilege! I just love everything about small town life!
Tiff: Please tell us where/how we can purchase Barefoot Books for friends and family this Christmas?
Lizanne: Craft fairs are done for the season, but people can contact me through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or facebook. I always have loads of stock on hand and can place orders as well. My goal for this upcoming year is to turn a small corner of my house into a book nook, somewhere people can come and see the books for themselves, and people can go online, look at what Barefoot has to offer, and hopefully ask me for recommendations. I love talking about books! I also do home parties or fundraisers for any organizations that might be interested. If you see me out and about, just stop me and ask what books might be right for you.
There you have it folks! Go buy a beautiful book from Lizanne! and stay tuned for our next entrepreneur! We only have two left – but you won’t want to miss them! Especially our grande finale…