The company began as a home business in 1992. It is now an international business, with offices in the United States and in the UK. Barefoot Books are available in bookstores and through Barefoot Stallholders (now called Ambassadors), individuals who sell Barefoot Books products through home parties, and community and school events. Most of the Barefoot books are for children between birth and age ten, although a new Independent Reader series has been added to the Barefoot Books line.
The company was started by Nancy Traversy and Tessa Strickland, two working mothers who shared a similar passion for children's literature. Besides books, the company also sells story CDs, puzzles, puppets and other educational toys. Many books come with "singalong" CDs, many of which are sung by children's performer Fred Penner. Fred Penner is particularly noted by Barefoot Books for his work on their best selling singalong book the Animal Boogie. It focuses on "themes that encourage independence of spirit, enthusiasm for learning and acceptance of other traditions."