It’s already been quite a year for everyone around the globe in the wake of Coronavirus. Here at Baby Ventures ™, we rang in 2020 (which now feels like years ago) with much excitement and creative energy as we worked on our fourth title. We relished in our staple kid-friendly adventures around Washington, DC – including a visit to the Kennedy Center’s Lunar New Year Celebration back in February. And as the first weeks and months of 2020 unfolded, we keenly looked forward to spring and all the joy it represents for our Baby Ventures family: Iranian New Year (“Norooz”), the iconic cherry blossoms adorning our capital city, and the bustling season of story times and other in-person author events at indie bookstores, public libraries, and fairs throughout our region.
Sufficed to say, spring is here and absolutely stunning this year, but so is the reality of social distancing, shuttered stores, and a completely new way of living and working as a small indie business. Staying home is imperative. But we are humbled by the fact that not all people in our communities can stay home, whether it’s because they have to work to put food on the table, or because they are on the front lines of the fight against this virus. For those of us who have the luxury of staying home to protect our health and flatten the virus’s curve, it has been a time of earnest reconnecting.
Thanks to technology, we are reaching out to loved ones around the world, including those living in cities hit hard by Coronavirus – from New York to Venice, Los Angeles to Tehran, Sydney to Mexico City. Technology will also be at the heart of much of what we do as a business in the coming months, starting with a virtual Spring Storytime Series with all our titles for little bookworms everywhere to enjoy (and parents to replay whenever they need a break!). Staying home also means (much) more online shopping. The Coronavirus pandemic has been crushing for small businesses everywhere, and while it has been an extremely challenging time for us too, our hearts are with all the corner stores, family businesses, and beloved indie bookstores in our region and nationwide. If you can, please help keep your community bookstore afloat by shopping from them online. Check out Bookshop for an extensive list of indies you can purchase from, or just look up the one in your area – chances are they are now taking orders online and offering shipping/delivery. You can also buy children’s books from indies to donate – order and have them ship to nonprofits like Access Books and 2000 Libros, who are tirelessly working to get quality books in the hands of children in need. Every child deserves a good read to get lost in, especially now.
Reconnecting with nature in a deeper, more humble way has also been a hallmark of staying home. Whether it’s taking daily walks or gardening as a family, spring’s signature rejuvenation and rebirth is on dazzling display for all of us humans to witness, no matter our age. This closer bond to nature is at the core of our upcoming fourth title, and we earnestly hope that a silver lining to this pandemic will be a global commitment to re-prioritize the health of our planet, too. We look forward to sharing everyday nature activities that you and your tots can do at home now, as well as help build their eco-literacy long after social distancing ends.
As we reevaluate business plans and reshape daily routines (including homeschooling and remote learning for our little ones), we are also reconnecting with a universal source of comfort: food. If you’ve come across our Instagram feed or #babyventureseats, you know we are always seeking out and cooking up globally-inspired dishes. For us, cooking is a fundamental way of embracing diversity – we’re raising our children to literally taste the world, one healthy bite at a time. In many cultures, food is also synonymous with love and sharing. In that spirit, we are taking our cue from chef and humanitarian José Andrés to share #recipesforthepeople with you, offering recipes using little prep time and simple ingredients. Stay tuned!
As we navigate the uncharted waters of 2020, we know one thing: we’re all in this together, so we have to stick together. Our Baby Ventures family welcomes creative ways to connect with your family and offer whatever we can – from solidarity to inspiring stay-at-home activities. Count on us as a part of your virtual support system, and please stay safe, all of you.
Golzar and Lisa, co-founders/co-authors