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

Exploring the Inspiration Behind ¡Numeros, Baby! – Part II

¡Números, Baby! – our upcoming release introducing little ones to numbers in Spanish is vividly inspired by the authors’ own travels to Latin America and Spain. In the second part of this two-part blog post, co-author Golzar Kheiltash shares her travel adventure that brought a distinct flavor to Baby Ventures’™ newest board book!

PART II: Co-author Golzar Kheiltash gets a taste of Spain

Before my family immigrated to California from Iran in the 80’s, I had already lived on two continents, across 6 cities. I was bilingual – in Persian and English – and felt the singular childhood excitement that comes from hearing different languages, seeing smiling new faces, and exploring vibrant new locales across the globe.

Continue reading Exploring the Inspiration Behind ¡Numeros, Baby! – Part II

Exploring the Inspiration Behind ¡Numeros, Baby! – Part I

At Baby Ventures™, we’re big believers in teaching little ones new languages early on, to help their brains develop and their worldviews expand! Our newest board book was created with just that in mind (excuse the pun): ¡Números, Baby! is a bilingual Spanish-English counting primer perfect for introducing little ones to uno a diez. Inspired by the authors’ own travels to Latin America and Spain, youngsters learn to count while also exploring the unique beauty and diversity of Spanish-speaking locales throughout the world.

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!

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

Where in the World Wednesday – November Contest Winner

Our final Where in the World Wednesday contest photo shows a hilly west coast city with a famous bridge (or two). What city is it? San Francisco!

Baby Ventures co-founder Golzar Kheiltash (re)visited this beautiful city in 2008. Did you know that the city is built on more than 50 hills and that it was originally named Yerba Buena?! Read more fun facts about the city here.

And a big congratulations to our contest winner, Ryan Remley, who correctly guessed San Francisco. Ryan will be receiving a free Baby Ventures toddler tee!

We hope you enjoyed our Where in the World Wednesday 2016 contest series. Thanks so much to everyone who participated and stay tuned for more contests and giveaways in the new year!

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!

Where in the World Wednesday: October Contest Winner

Our October Where in the World Wednesday series, highlighting Baby Ventures founders’ real life adventures in diverse locales, showed illustrator Lisa Hall in front of the stunning Taj Mahal. In what Indian city is it located? Agra!

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum that took approximately 20 years to build. In 2005, Lisa visited this awe-inspiring attraction during her backpacking trip around Northern India. She reminisced, “While I had seen many photos of the Taj Mahal, what absolutely took my breath away was the intricate detail work throughout the building. Inlaid in the marble are the most beautiful patterns of colored gemstones (including jade and turquoise), unlike anything I have ever seen.” Want to learn more? Here are some facts!

And we are excited to announce our contest winner: Brad Wilson of Washington, DC correctly guessed Agra and is our lucky winner! Brad will be receiving a free copy of Baby Ventures ABCs of Washington, DC board book. Congratulations Brad!

Stay tuned for our next Where in the World Wednesday contest, coming November 2nd. This will be our final contest for 2016 so be sure to enter while you still can!

Where in the World Wednesday: October

Baby Ventures books and products are inspired by Lisa Hall and Golzar Kheiltash’s real life adventures in diverse locales. We want to give you a behind-the-scenes peek into our inspiration so we’re sharing photos of some of our favorite adventures as part of our Where in the World Wednesday series! Correctly guess the photo location for the chance to win fabulous Baby Ventures products.

So where in the world this first Wednesday of October? You may well recognize this iconic building that Lisa visited in 2005. But in what city is it located? Email us the correct answer by October 12th and you’ll be entered for the chance to win a free copy of The ABCs of Washington, DC board book!

Only two contests remain in 2016 so be sure to enter to win while you still can. Good luck!