Part II: Meet Gabi! Volunteering at the Rooftop Garden in San Juan, PR

When we first created our new bilingual ¡Números, Baby!, we knew that beyond sharing the book through public fora, free author events, and donations, we also wanted to find additional meaningful ways to give back to the communities that inspired each page.

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Through collaboration with World Central Kitchen (WCK), a trail-blazing nonprofit food assistance organization founded by DC-based chef and humanitarian José Andrés, we’ve been able to just that: Baby Ventures™ proudly donates a portion of all sales of ¡Números, Baby! to WCK’s disaster response in Latin America and beyond.

Thanks to WCK, we were also able to participate in a rewarding volunteer opportunity during our visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico this past May: Through WCK’s innovative Plow to Plate Program, we spent the day gardening at the Rooftop Garden, an urban farm and micro-greenery recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Gabi, the welcoming owner of the Rooftop Garden, greeted us early in the morning as we set out to assist him in his daily work on the farm. Located in the heart of San Juan, Gabi’s beautiful patch of land is home to organic micro-greens, a dazzling array of edible flowers, and an impressive compost operation that enriches his produce while reducing his waste.

 

 

Gabi’s micro-greens and edible flowers are a hit at the local farmer’s markets. His singular passion for the soil (and soul) of his island is infused in every stunning package of greens and edible flowers he creates. Despite substantial damage to his farm and operations from Hurricane Maria, Gabi and his colleagues have diligently set out to rebuild – literally one seed at a time – and they’re making incredible progress.

 

 

For Lisa and I, the experience of mixing the soil, planting seeds for Gabi’s next harvest, and hearing about the farm’s steady return to its former glory was both incredibly moving and humbling. We’re not sure how much help we were to Gabi, but without question, he was a tremendous source of inspiration for us. Not to mention, we’ll forever savor the farm-to-fork salad Gabi prepared for us! We can’t thank you enough for hosting us, Gabi, and we can’t wait to visit the Rooftop Garden again soon!

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In the wake of Hurricane Maria, many have sought to assist Puerto Rico’s communities in a meaningful way. As the locals told us, visiting Puerto Rico is a great place to start. We couldn’t agree more. And when you do, please consider volunteering at farms like Gabi’s through WCK’s Plow to Plate Program. Can’t make the trip in person? No problem – please support this innovative program through your generous donation instead.

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We are forever grateful to both WCK and Gabi for hosting us at the Rooftop Garden. ¡Muchas gracias por esta increíble oportunidad!

Sinceramente,

Golzar y Lisa

 

Part I: Leemos Juntos! Celebrating books + reading with students in Puerto Rico

Last week, we had the honor of traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico to host story time for pre-K through first grade students at Escuela Inés María Mendoza! We were thrilled to meet the dedicated team of teachers and staff, and get to know their incredible students!  Together, we read from our new bilingual book ¡Números, Baby! as we practiced counting from 1 – 10 in both Spanish and English. With each page, we also explored our book’s illustrations depicting the unique cultures and geography of diverse Spanish-speaking locales. We especially loved sharing page 5 (featuring Puerto Rico’s native coquí frogs) with the students, who then serenaded us with the distinct and beautiful song of the coquí! Continue reading Part I: Leemos Juntos! Celebrating books + reading with students in Puerto Rico

Announcing our new book/ Anunciando nuestro nuevo libro: ¡NÚMEROS, BABY!

At Baby Ventures, our philosophy is simple: creating one-of-a-kind board books that inspire young children to explore our diverse world, one adventure at a time!

This was the driving impetus behind the upcoming release of our new title, ¡Números, Baby! – a vibrant bilingual board book teaching little ones numbers in Spanish! But uno a diez is just the beginning: with illustrations inspired by our own travels, youngsters learn to count while also exploring the beauty and diversity of Spanish speaking locales throughout the world. 1, 2, 3…¡vamos a contar! Continue reading Announcing our new book/ Anunciando nuestro nuevo libro: ¡NÚMEROS, BABY!

July 24th: Join us for story time at the Green Chateau!

Calling all Los Angeles area little ones! We’re heading to the west coast for a very special story time with local author Jackelyn Shultz at the wonderful Green Chateau Indoor Playground.

Join us next Tuesday, July 24th at 4 PM for an adventure-filled afternoon featuring a read aloud of both “Abbey & Axel’s Guide to Adventure” by Jackelyn as well as the “ABCs of Washington, DC” by Baby Ventures co-author Golzar Kheiltash. Both authors will also be on hand to sign copies of their books!

Visit the Green Chateau’s website to register for this fun-filled event – we can’t wait to see your little SoCal bookworms there!

Join us for Family Funday at the Gaithersburg Book Festival: May 19th!

Calling all bookworms, big and small! We’re excited to announce that Baby Ventures has been selected for the second year in a row to participate in the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 19, 2018! 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! Continue reading Join us for Family Funday at the Gaithersburg Book Festival: May 19th!

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look into Baby Ventures

Baby Ventures co-founders Golzar Kheiltash and Lisa Hall were recently interviewed by local DC photographer and blogger Allison Fitzsimmons. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting Allison, sharing our Baby Ventures story, discussing the importance of early learning and much more.

Check out the interview (and her beautiful photos of our books) here and get a behind-the-scenes look into Baby Ventures and our next book, scheduled to release this fall!

Happy reading adventures!

*Photo by Allison Fitzsimmons

Annapolis, Meet the ABCs!

Baby Ventures co-authors Lisa Hall and Golzar Kheiltash welcome their second title, The ABCs of Annapolis! From Art scene to Zooplankton, each page brings Maryland’s capital city to life with Lisa’s vibrant artwork and personal affection for the city she now calls home. Learn all about the impetus behind The ABCs of Annapolis from Lisa and Golzar in the Q&A below! Continue reading Annapolis, Meet the ABCs!

October Kicks Off Baby Ventures’ Giveaways for Giving!

At Baby Ventures, we’re big fans of giving back to those in need in our community (be it our local neighborhood or our global village), and fostering empathy in our little ones to do the same. So with fall officially kicking off the holiday season, we’re launching our Giveaways for Giving: Each month until December, we’re asking you to join us in giving to those in need in the greater DC area, and in turn you’ll receive a giveaway from us!

For October: We’ve teamed up with one of our favorite Washington, DC indie bookstores, Walls of Books, to support their spook-tacular neighborhood initiative: They’re collecting gently used children’s Halloween costumes for DC area kids through this Friday, October 13th. Continue reading October Kicks Off Baby Ventures’ Giveaways for Giving!

“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. Continue reading “C” is for Cherry Blossoms!

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!