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

At Children’s National Hospital in DC, Medicine comes with Magic

By Golzar Kheiltash, Co-Author

My friend, a hardworking and always smiling young woman, has had a pacemaker since she was a baby. Now in her twenties, she’s a dedicated nursing student with an ambitious goal upon graduation: to work in Pediatric Cardiology, at the same hospital that has been caring for her own heart condition since infancy: Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. Continue reading At Children’s National Hospital in DC, Medicine comes with Magic

Now Available: The ABCs of Annapolis Board Book

Hot off the presses! Baby Ventures’ second board book, The ABCs of Annapolis: Maryland’s Capital City, is now available! Little ones will love practicing their ABCs while learning about Maryland’s charming capital city by the Chesapeake Bay.

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, Annapolis is brought to life from the distinct perspective of a long-time resident and local enthusiast, Baby Ventures co-founder Lisa Hall. To learn more about the impetus behind the book, check out this blog post featuring a Q&A with Baby Ventures co-founders. 

Whether it’s ice skating at Quiet Waters park or kayaking on the creeks, we hope our ABCs of Annapolis spark some memorable family adventures of your own.

Happy ABC adventures, little ones!

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!

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!

 

ABCs of Washington, DC Board Book Now Available!

Hot off the presses! Our highly anticipated ABCs of Washington, DC board book is now available! Perfect for a bedtime read or stashed in a diaper bag when you hit the town, your little one is sure to love this literary tour of our nation’s capital! From kayaking in Georgetown to boat tours on the Potomac, we hope our ABCs of Washington, DC spark some memorable family adventures of your own!

Happy summer adventures!

DC Photo Contest: Win a Free Book!

Looking for one-of-a-kind board books to introduce your little ones early on to the wonder-filled world around them? We were too: creating vibrant, adventure and diversity-inspired board books was the impetus behind our family-owned company, Baby Ventures!

We’re thrilled to kick off our book series with our new ABCs of Washington, DC board book, set to arrive this June! In this distinctly native take on our nation’s capital, your tots can explore the A to Z of DC with bright colors, cool shapes, and lots of adventures (Boat tours, anyone?).

Have some of your own DC family adventures to share? Whether you live in or have visited the nation’s capital, email us a pic and a brief description for a chance to win a free copy of the ABCs of Washington, DC, and be featured on our sites! Submissions must be received by June 1st.

Happy DC adventures, Baby!

Last Chance for Free Shipping on the ABCs of Washington, DC!

Be among the first to take your tot on a literary tour of the Nation’s capital with Baby Ventures’ brand new board book, The ABCs of Washington, DC!

Each fun-filled page brings DC to life for little ones, combining vibrant artwork with a distinctly native take on letters of the alphabet (including D, J, and R, to name a few!).

Pre-orders are still available, so order today – free shipping is extended until June 1st!

Happy reading adventures!