November’s Giving Campaign: You Shop, We Donate!

 

Happy November, families!

We’re continuing our Fall Giving Campaign with a special initiative this month: You shop, we donate proceeds to assist the poor and homeless in our nation’s capital.

For several years now, the Washington, DC nonprofit SOME (So Others Might Eat) has been close to our hearts. SOME works diligently to feed, clothe, and permanently improve the lives of poor and homeless DC residents, including families and children. SOME’s commitment to treating our city’s most vulnerable residents with compassion, generosity, and dignity truly inspires us.

 
FOR NOVEMBER: You shop, we donate! All this month, we’ll donate a portion of every single purchase you make on our website to SOME. From our best-selling ABCs of Washington, DC board book to nursery art and much more, we have the perfect gifts for the adventure-loving little ones on your shopping list!

Together we can help SOME ensure that all DC families have food, shelter, and the warmth of a caring community this month.

You can also directly support SOME – visit their website to donate to their food and clothing drives, or if you want to burn off that turkey, sign up for their annual Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger!

Happy Shopping and Giving,

The Baby Ventures Family

Bookroo: Fostering Literacy Love in Little Ones

As a children’s board book company, we at Baby Ventures know firsthand of the pure joy (and lifelong benefits) of raising little bookworms. We believe that early learning is the cornerstone of a thriving childhood and that it’s never too early to start reading to young children to expand their worldview. So we were thrilled to discover Bookroo, a fellow mom-inspired company that helps parents build their children’s book collections in an exciting way through monthly book deliveries. Offering both board book and picture book packages, Bookroo helps parents discover new books and authors beyond the classics by carefully selecting “hidden gems” that are not easily found in stores or online.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with the co-founders of Bookroo—three sisters-in-law brought together by their husbands and love of reading—about the benefits of early learning, how parents can foster a love of reading in their own children and more. Continue reading Bookroo: Fostering Literacy Love in Little Ones

Co-Founder Lisa Hall on Baby Ventures’ Interview with Top DC Mom Blog

As co-founders of Baby Ventures, Golzar and I were recently interviewed by Do DC with Kids, one of DC’s top mom blogs! We sat down with its founder, Tina Smith, at Eastern Market’s scrumptious Bourbon Coffee for a chat over morning coffee and pastries. The location was particularly special to us, given Golzar and I met just around the corner exactly 12 years ago while working at a nonprofit NGO.

We thoroughly enjoyed sharing our Baby Ventures story and discussing our ABCs of Washington, DC board book and what’s next (hint: our 2nd book)! Read the interview here for the inside scoop and be sure to check out www.dodcwithkids.com for more articles on exploring our nation’s capital with your little ones.

Happy DC adventures,

Lisa & Golzar

Guest Interview Part II: Mary Grace Otis, Host of The Global Mom Show

In this week’s blog, we continue our conversation with Mary Grace Otis, Host of The Global Mom Show! The Global Mom Show is a weekly podcast that connects moms around the world who want to live globally-minded lives and teach their kids to do the same. Below is Part II of our interview with Mary Grace where she discusses the importance of multicultural children’s books, and how parents can inspire an expanded worldview in their children early on.

Baby Ventures’ books seek to inspire young children to explore our diverse world. What role do you feel diversity-inspired children’s books play in raising globally-minded children?

In our home, books take center stage for all we do. I’m currently homeschooling my first-grader and preschooler, and read-a-louds are the core of our curriculum. In my opinion books are the gateway to the world. They can capture the imagination and teach lessons without being preachy. I know how much I’ve learned through stories, and I want my kids to have access to all types of stories too, so that they become engaged at an early age with the reality that everyone has multiple stories to share and all of them are worth hearing.

Diversity-inspired books play a critical role in developing the type of empathy and open-mindedness necessary for children to become globally-minded. In many cases books may be the only opportunity that children have to interact with another culture, so creating good diverse books—and many of them—is, I believe, a wonderfully important task.

As a global mom, what more would you like to see in books that present elements of diversity and multiculturalism to young children?

Well, first of all, I know there are so many more diverse and multicultural books out there than we’ve been able to read. It’s actually really exciting for me, because I look forward to learning with my kids about other cultures, people, and places. Although I love the books that delve into historical events and cultural events, I also would just love some fun books for my boys that happen to have diverse characters.

For example, my boys are currently into the Henry Huggins books by Beverly Cleary. Now if I could find a Henry Huggins with multicultural characters, that would be great. A lot of the multicultural books I find seem to deal with some difficult subjects, and while I think that is so important, I also just want my boys to have engaging stories that include characters that happen to be diverse. As a white mom raising kids who have an Asian-American heritage, I would also love to see more books with multicultural families of all types and combinations.

“I think one of the most ‘enriching realizations’ for me is…that everyone has a unique story that’s worth listening to and sharing.” – Mary Grace Otis

What are some of the most enriching realizations you have had during your podcast interviews?

One of things I love about talking with other global moms is that I get to go deep quickly and ask about the things that otherwise might take months or years to uncover through natural conversation. As I’ve done so, I’ve realized how important it is to be intentional in our own relationships with one another as moms.

This whole global journey is not just about or for our kids, but it overflows from our own lives. And if we want to be inspired to teach our kids to become globally-minded, we have to be connected ourselves. It has been absolutely enriching to my own life to enter in to conversations with women doing amazing things around the world in the areas of diversity, training, writing, blogging, homeschooling, and parenting. I think one of the most “enriching realizations” for me is just the continued realization that everyone has a unique story that’s worth listening to and sharing.

Subscribe to The Global Mom Show podcast to join the conversation and connect with moms around the world who share a global worldview.

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Mary Grace Otis is the host of The Global Mom Show podcast, a wife, a mom of three boys, a former expat and development worker, and a freelance writer for nonprofits and businesses. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Grab a copy of her free PDF guide 10 Ways to Create a Global Home—No Matter Where You Live, or join her private Facebook Community, The Global Moms Network, to connect with like-minded mamas.

Come Visit Us at the Gaithersburg Book Festival: May 20th!

In honor of World Book Day today, we’re so thrilled to announce that Baby Ventures has been selected to participate in this year’s highly anticipated Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 20th! Since its founding in 2010, this Festival has become a top literary event for the whole family in the greater Washington, DC region, attracting hundreds of award-winning authors, poets and songwriters. From author readings to story time and sing-alongs for children, the Festival is the perfect outing for bookworms of all ages!

Come visit our Baby Ventures booth in the Children’s Area for signed copies of Baby Ventures’ ABCs of Washington, DC board books, children’s canvas art, and more –  the first 10 visitors to purchase a board book or canvas art will receive a free Baby Ventures onesie or toddler tee! And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest info on day-of giveaways and other special promotions at the Festival.

Book Festival Logo

Gaithersburg Book Festival
Saturday, May 20th
10 am – 6 pm
Gaithersburg City Hall Grounds
Old Towne Gaithersburg, MD

The Festival will take place from 10 am – 6 pm—rain or shine—in historic Old Towne Gaithersburg, MD (complete with real trains and a Community Museum). “Say Yes! to the Book” and see you on May 20th!

“C” is for Cherry Blossoms!

No ABCs of Washington, DC book would be complete without a colorful ode to DC’s iconic spring blooms: cherry blossoms!

Even before writing and illustrating the ABCs of Washington, DC board book, Baby Ventures authors and illustrator Lisa Hall and Golzar Kheiltash knew the letter C would represent cherry blossoms – those gorgeous, ephemeral blooms that bring our nation’s capital to life each spring and most famously, line the banks of the Tidal Basin overlooking the Jefferson Memorial.

The aesthetic beauty of the cherry blossoms is undisputed. For Baby Ventures – a children’s book company – so is the beauty of what these blossoms stand for:

  • Kindness and Friendship: The cherry blossoms were a gift from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC in 1912. This gift marked the beginning of a lasting friendship between the US and Japan.
  • Welcoming and Inclusive Spirit: Every year, over a million tourists flock to the Washington, DC area to experience the cherry blossoms first-hand. Our city welcomes them with a vibrant, internationally-inspired National Cherry Blossom Festival for all ages to enjoy (for emphasis on enjoyment, check out these insider planning tips from KidFriendly DC).
  • New Season, New Adventures: The cherry blossoms are one of the first to bloom around DC. They usher in the spring and all of the wonder-filled adventures awaiting little ones around DC (boat tours on the Potomac, stroller rides through Rock Creek Park, out and about just sightseeing – check out MommyNearest DC for more!).

This year, a tardy cold snap disrupted the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom period, throwing tourists, DC families, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival into a scramble trying to reassess the viability of the blooms. Much to our relief, the National Parks Service recently reported that while the snow hurt many blossoms, those lining the Tidal Basin are still going to bloom!

More good news: if your family missed the cherry blossoms this year, don’t fret – you and your tots can experience C is for Cherry Blossoms year-round with our ABCs of Washington, DC board book! And if you’re in the greater DC area, stop by one of these one of a kind local specialty shops for your copy!

From the Baby Ventures Team in Washington, DC: Happy blooming spring adventures!

 

 

Feb 14th: International Book Giving Day!

February 14th is Valentine’s Day – but did you know it’s also International Book Giving Day? This 100% volunteer initiative aims to increase children’s access to, and enthusiasm for, reading books. Show and share love by donating books to a neighbor in need, or to a local shelter or non-profit organization that provides books to children in the US and around the world.

Baby Ventures is proud to support this initiative by donating copies of our ABCs of Washington, DC board books. Follow us on Facebook for the latest news on how we’ll be celebrating the day!

Looking for ideas on where to donate your books? Get a list of organizations here. And be sure to connect with others celebrating International Book Giving Day by posting your photos on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #bookgivingday.

This Valentine’s Day, show your love with book giving!

Join us for story time on Dec 13th!

Mark your calendars for story time with Baby Ventures co-founders Golzar Kheiltash and Lisa Hall on Tuesday, December 13th at East City Bookshop! Your little ones will love practicing their ABCs of Washington, DC while enjoying a virtual tour around the nation’s capital.

Story time with Baby Ventures
11:00 am on Tuesday, December 13th

East City Bookshop
645 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20003

Located in DC’s charming Capitol Hill neighborhood, East City Bookshop is a local favorite indie bookshop with a great collection of children’s books. We hope to see you there on December 13th for an educational and fun-filled story time!

Baby Ventures in your DC Neighborhood!

Capitol Hill. Georgetown. Arlington. Bethesda. What do these and more DC, Virginia, and Maryland locales have in common? They’re home to one-of-a-kind local shops that offer Baby Ventures books or artwork!

Baby Ventures is a globally-inspired company with DC roots – that’s why we prioritize select local, independent bookstores, gift shops, and toy stores in the greater Washington metropolitan area to carry our products. We’re so excited to join each of these favorite neighborhood shops!

So next time you’re out on your weekend stroll with the little ones in tow – or visiting Washington, DC with family – support our wonderful retailers– that’s what a great neighborhood is all about!

No Baby Ventures yet at your favorite book or gift shop in the greater DC region? Let us know! We’ll do our best to venture into your neighborhood store! And of course, you can always find all our products on our website.

Shop local and happy Baby Ventures!

 

Donate Books for DC Kids in Need

Georgetown University School of Medicine is currently collecting new and used books for its Big HOYA Little Saxa book drive supporting DC General Homeless Shelter. As part of the Big HOYA Little Saxa program, Georgetown medical students volunteer at the shelter, teach reading skills and provide mentorship to the children.

Baby Ventures is proud to support the book drive by donating more than 25 copies of our ABCs of Washington, DC board book. Want to get involved? Simply drop off new or used books at Georgetown University’s Dahlgren Memorial Library or send them to the following address by October 31st:

Big HOYA Little Saxa Book Drive
3900 Reservoir Road NW
Medical-Dental Building NW114
Washington, DC 20057

We hope you will join us in supporting literacy for DC kids!