Tag Archives: Children’s Books

Books For Tiny World Travelers

Books For Tiny World Travelers
Books For Tiny World Travelers

Both my husband and I love to travel, so when we had kids we were determined to continue to do so.  Our fist child had traveled to Turkey, France, England, South Korea, and Hawaii by the time she was two.  We made it back to Turkey with two kids, and then came children number three and four. With the cost and the accessories that come with four kids ages six and under, our travel as a family came to a halt.  My husband and I continued to travel, but were lucky enough to be able to leave the kids with my in-laws at home when we did.  Still determined to bring them up as global citizens, we would bring back tokens from abroad and always search for children’s books to read to them that incorporated other cultures in the stories.  I was thrilled when Sataya House Publications asked me if I’d like to review their children’s series  ”I See the Sun in …” , which is a series of bilingual picture books that takes children around the world to sample different cultures along the way.  These are exactly the types of books that I love to share with my children.  Author, Dedie King, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, and has spent much time in all of the countries she writes about. Each of the “I See The Sun In…” books are written in English and translated by a native speaker of the language of the country she is writing about.  I love having the written language of the country we are reading about along side the English words to show the kids examples of different languages in writing.  The books have won awards and have been well received by parents, teachers and children alike. The series is currently available in the titles “I See the Sun in…: Nepal, China, Afghanistan, Russia, and Mexico, with more countries in the works.  When I read the books with my younger kids I loved the questions that they brought up, and the interest in these other cultures that I could see it spark in them.  In the past couple of years we’ve begun to take the kids with us again when we go abroad.  We did a family trip to Canada,  the older two came to France with us last spring, and we took a family trip to Alaska this summer.  It has only recently become easy to travel with them again without needing all of the car seats, boosters, diaper bags, bottles, portable high chairs, and clothing changes, plus they can pull their own luggage, which is huge.  Now that it is easier, we look forward to exposing them to foreign cultures through travel, and in the mean time these books can help us pave the way to understanding the beautiful diversity that makes up our world around us.

 

 

 

 

 

* I received free copies of the above books for the purpose of review, all opinions are my own and not swayed in any way by outside sources.

 

 

$10 Starbucks giftcard & Little Pickle Press Award Winning Children’s Book Giveaway!

$10 Starbucks giftcard & Little Pickle Press Award Winning Children’s Book Giveaway!

Rana DiOrio, the founder of Little pickle Press has generously signed and offered to give away copies of the four “What Does It Mean To Be…?” books to one of our lucky readers!  Find out more about Rana and how she founded a green publishing company from the ground up  here.  Little Pickle Press is dedicated to helping parents and educators cultivate conscious, responsible little people by stimulating explorations of the meaningful topics of their generation through a variety of media, technologies, and techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Inspiring Women: Rana DiOrio

Inspiring Women: Rana DiOrio

Rana DiOrio

 

I am a mother to four kids who on most days feels like I can barely keep my house in order and kids clean, fed and dressed.  Women like Rana DiOrio, the founder of Little Pickle Press, fascinate me.  Did I mention that she has three young children of her own? Rana agreed to let me interview her over the phone to assist me in my quest of understanding her particular breed of überwoman.

The first indicator of her destiny to be successful is probably in the fact that from a very young age she knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up.   She wanted to be a doctor, and though it may seem at first glance that she veered off her course, she would be the first to point out that despite detours along the way, she is on the path to doing exactly what she set out to do.  I asked her if she planned to go back to medical school, and she said no, but that she is now helping children in the way that she had always wanted to.  It turns out that the alternative route that she took ultimately made her uniquely suited to do the work that she does. When she was accepted to the Ivy League 7-year medical school she had applied to, around the same time the HMO came into existence, she did the math and recognized the long road to financial liquidity if she pursued medicine. Instead she went to law school where her investment in her education could pay off more rapidly.  She became a lawyer then an investment banker, and a real estate investor. Each career switch imparted various pieces of knowledge that she would ultimately put to use in forming Little Pickle Press.

Her first book What Does It Mean To Be Green? was written for her children.   It was Inspired by her own move from not very environmentally aware Rhode Island, where she grew up, to San Francisco in 1991 where she witnessed a different approach to the environment.  People in the Bay Area were already recycling, composting and eating locally sourced foods, all of which struck a chord with Rana.  She had already changed her way of living by the time she became a mom, so of course she was an environmentally conscientious mom. It was when she felt her children were old enough to begin to understand their relationship to the environment that she wrote the book What Does It Mean To Be Green? as a way to help explain it to them.  She wanted to give them the construct to comprehend sustainability, to write a book that served as a springboard for discussion of how to be green, so that they would not just do it because she told them to but because they understood why it was important.   It was a book that they read together and was intended just for them at that point.

When Barak Obama was elected President, her children were four and five years old, and there existed no context to help explain to them why this was such an amazing development.  She wrote What Does It Mean To Be Global? to  introduce to them the concept of diversity and accepting others with their differences. She wanted to plant the seed of the idea that we can only be successful within a community if we embrace diversity.  When Rana showed this book to friends, the feedback was so positive that she decided to see about getting it published.  Everyone agreed that her books were refreshing and distinctive.  Of course she knew the publisher could only be one with environmental integrity, but even the most progressive publishers print in China on virgin paper and still use dust jackets.  The Publishing industry as a whole she found was still entrenched in 20th century practices.  Rana saw an opportunity to build a 21st century publishing company.   There were a few elements she knew she wanted to include, the green publishing element was paramount. She sourced recycled paper, soy inks and made her books without dust jackets—superfluous paper that children inevitably remove and waste.  She also wanted to make sure to give back by donating a percentage of the revenue to a charity.  Having grown up with a brother who is a two time survivor of leukemia, Rana knows first hand how important support for the families and children with critical illness can be. Because of her experiences, 10 % of the revenue of her first three books is donated to Starlight Children’s Foundation .

I gave this one to my 13 year old!

Rana picked up the bible of the self-publishing industry The Well Fed Self-Publisher: How To Turn One Book Into A Full Time Living by Peter Bowerman.  Published in 2006, this book became the cornerstone of her research in forming Little Pickle Press.  At that point in time she could not have known that three years later she would be sitting on an experts panel with Peter Bowerman and have the opportunity to meet (and thank) him in person.

She has built a company that has become a certified B Corporation , a community of companies that strive to be the change they seek—environmentally friendly, humanitarian, and good to their employees. Little Pickle Press was recently honored as a Top Ten Best for the World B Corp with 10 employees or fewer.

Our discussion next turned to the power of women. Rana pointed out that she thinks women are gaining prominence in government and boardrooms because of the different way that they approach and solve problems.  Typically, women listen more than they talk and synthesize what they hear to devise strategies. Fewer egos tend to be involved and they know how to calibrate what they hear and observe to solve problems. Her advice to other women starting out is trust your instincts, listen to your inner voice, and rely upon your multifaceted skills and attributes.

This past week Little Pickle Press, won the Appy award in the Muticultural Media App category for “Being Global”.  The Appy Awards are the Oscars of the Digital world, and they pay tribute to the world’s finest and most exciting new apps in every imaginable category. The winners were announced Monday night in San Francisco,  competitor up against Little Pickle Press for the award was Disney’s “It’s a Small World” app.  Three years ago Rana DiOrio, who founded of Little Pickle Press did not know the first thing about the publishing world.   Since its inception in April of 2009 she has founded an Environmentally friendly publishing company, written and published numerous award winning children’s books, and has now successfully conquered the digital publishing world.  Meanwhile donating 10% of all book profits to charity.

The newest book in the What Does It Mean series

I fell in love with the books that Rana had written the moment I encountered them.  The messages they teach are all things I had been trying to impart to my own children for a long time,  finally I had found these comprehensible ways to help my kids understand important topics that can be tough to explain.  I loved the opportunity to find out more about the woman behind them in my interview with Rana DiOrio. I can not wait to watch Little Pickle Press Grow!

 

This month Little Pickle Press is offering the following Specials:

 

  • What Does It Mean To Be Green? is a FREE download in the iBookstore (http://bit.ly/green-ib) and in the Nook Bookstore (http://bit.ly/greennookbook) during the month of March, and all of our other eBooks are discounted.
  • We are offering 25% off and FREE SHIPPING on any order that includes What Does It Mean To Be Green? on our website during the month of March. Just enter LPPGreen2012 to take advantage of the offer.
  • Check back in to Documama.org on Monday for the chance to win all Four Little Pickle Press “What Does It Mean To Be…?” Titles Signed by the Author!