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

Celebrating Hannah Oliver Depp on International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! At Baby Ventures™, we celebrate the remarkable women in our indie literary orbit – women who are trailblazing their own path and lifting up other women along the way.  

Today we’re thrilled to highlight avid book lover, early literacy supporter, and community builder Hannah Oliver Depp! Hannah is the owner and creative force behind Loyalty Bookstore – the beautifully revamped face of Upshur Street Books in DC’s Petworth neighborhood. Continue reading Celebrating Hannah Oliver Depp on International Women’s Day

Celebrating multicultural books today…and every day!

Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD)! This national event aims to raise awareness of children’s books that celebrate diversity, promote inclusivity, and share global voices and perspectives. Importantly, MCBD highlights the need for greater access to multicultural books as well, and actively helps disseminate more of them to classrooms and libraries nationwide. Continue reading Celebrating multicultural books today…and every day!

We Love our Customers: Meet Anne Weinheimer of @TwistedFleece!

Today is #gettoknowyourcustomersday! And we couldn’t be happier to spotlight one of our dearest and earliest customers, Mrs. Anne Weinheimer, who’s behind the beautiful handmade knits from @twistedfleece on Instagram! Anne kindly agreed to share a bit about herself as a knitter and spinner extraordinaire, her special bond to Washington, DC, and her lifelong love of reading. We couldn’t agree with you more, Anne – there can be no better gift than a good book, and we’re honored you feel that way about ours!  Continue reading We Love our Customers: Meet Anne Weinheimer of @TwistedFleece!

Pre-Order The ABCs of Annapolis: Maryland’s Capital City

We are thrilled to announce Baby Ventures newest book title: The ABCs of Annapolis, Maryland’s Capital City.

An ode to Maryland’s charming capital city where Baby Ventures illustrator Lisa Hall now lives and paints, this 26-page board book provides a distinctly native take on Annapolis life and locales. From the annual Tug of War to Main Street and more, little ones will love practicing their ABCs while sailing through the pages of this beautiful board book.

Pre-order yours today and receive a signed 1st edition copy, available February 2018!

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!

Where in the World Wednesday – November

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, which means it’s time for Baby Ventures’ Where in the World Wednesday series! We post a pic of one of our favorite adventures on the first Wednesday of each month – correctly guess the pic’s location for the chance to win fabulous Baby Ventures products! Plus, we’ll include fun facts and activities about these amazing places to share with your adventure-loving little ones!

So where in the world this first Wednesday of November? For our last contest of the year, we’re showcasing one of our favorite US locales: In fall 2008, Baby Ventures co-founder Golzar Kheiltash (re)visited this hilly west coast city with a famous bridge (or two). What city is it? Email us the correct answer by November 16th, 2016 and you’ll be entered for the chance to win a free Baby Ventures toddler tee! Don’t miss your chance – this is our last contest for 2016!

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!