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.

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!

Where in the World Wednesday: September Contest Winner

Our September Where in the World Wednesday Series, highlighting Baby Ventures founders’ real life adventures in diverse locales, was by all accounts a tough guess. Our photo showed a Western European university town (above), nestled on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers (we didn’t name the rivers as part of our clue). What city is it? It’s Tübingen, Germany!

Baby Ventures co-founder Golzar Kheiltash visited Tübingen in December 2006, after flying in to nearby Stuttgart from a business trip. In the company of welcoming Tübingen friends and natives, she spent several days exploring the natural beauty and rich history of this charming university town. Fun facts: Tübingen is located in Germany’s southwestern region of Swabia, and approximately one out of every three residents of the town is a student! Want to learn more? Here are some additional trivia and travel-inspiring photos.

Despite our stinginess with clues, we’re excited to announce a contest winner! Ms. Ghovanlou of Gaithersburg, MD correctly guessed Tübingen and is our lucky winner! She’ll be receiving one of our super cute and comfy Baby Ventures onesies as her prize – congratulations!

Stay tuned for our next Where in the World Wednesday contest (coming October 5th) and the chance to win fabulous Baby Ventures products! Bis später!

Where in the World Wednesday: September

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, which means (drum roll, please)…it’s time for our Where in the World Wednesday series! We’ll post a pic of one of our adventures on the first Wednesday of each month, and if you correctly guess its location you will be entered for the chance to win awesome 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 September? Let’s just say we were inspired by the back to school theme this month: In 2006, Baby Ventures co-founder Golzar Kheiltash visited this Western European, picturesque university town that’s nestled among two rivers.  What city is it? Email us the correct answer by September 14th, 2016 and you’ll be entered for the chance to win a free Baby Ventures toddler tee or onesie!