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                    was born

out of pure love

and a wish to share that with an audience that wanted to join us on adventures exploring cities around the world! Chicago being our hometown, we of course had to make it our first adventure.


Little by little, the wondrous story of a baby boy who simply wanted to tour his great city with his best friend and his mommy came to be. 

With                   

your little one can

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Explore

Explore new places with your little ones without even leaving your house

Learn

Learn more about your favorite cities with educational facts 

Experience

Experience new things and find out what is different about each new city

Connect

Let your little ones to connect with new places they ever thought imaginable

Meet The Creators

Meet Our Author

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez is a Latinx born & raised in Chicago. Owner, designer, and innovator, Vanessa has dedicated her adult life to enchanting Chicago with her baby products and accessories for mommies at BabyDolls Boutique, a one-of-a-kind shop in Chicago’s trendy Southport Corridor in Lakeview. With her high level of creativity and business acumen, she introduced her clothing line, pink & blue are the new black. Through the sales of this line, she established the "itty bitty Project", a heartfelt effort that supports micro-preemies while donating to the top five largest neonatal intensive care units in U.S. hospitals. And now her most recent accolade is in the pages of this whimsical story filled with little surprises will make you fall in love with Chicago all over again. Stay tuned to see where the next adventure will be as you will not want to miss it!

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Lauren Schultz

Lauren is a professionally trained graphic designer and marketing director, but she also dabbles in several other creative outlets including illustration! With illustration holding a very special place in her heart, she has launched her own illustration brand, Lulumaid Illustration, and has illustrated one other children's book to date. Loves Me Books is an adventure that she is extremely grateful to be a part of and is excited to get to share with the world. 

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Meet Our Illustrator

A Letter From The Author

This book is a culmination of endless hours of hard work, tears, self-doubt, fear, trepidation, maybe even worse, but with faith, perseverance, resistance, resilience and the love of my family and friends, here it is! I celebrate this book with all of you.

 

There have been many unspoken trials and tribulations along this journey. As a first-generation Mexican-American child, I was torn between two worlds. I wanted to fit in with my peers but also wanted to stay true to my parents' upbringing, culture, and traditions. Finding my creative identity helped me inhabit a love for unequivocal uniqueness.

 

My first endeavor, BabyDolls Boutique, was born from a vision, with no formal business experience and almost no capital. Now, 12 years later, I found what I like to call my labor of love: pink & blue, my very own baby/kids clothing label. I put my heart and soul into everything I create. The unique selections of designs and fabrics highlight ages and stages of a child's growth, are fun for kids to wear, and are picture-perfect. What makes my heart even happier is that each piece is locally made.

 

This book is yet another dream come true. It is proof that anything is attainable when you pick yourself back up, dust your knees off, and keep on going after a fall. Not an easy feat, which is why I dedicate this book to my immigrant parents who never gave up, risked everything; my better half, my love, my rock, and unconditional supporter who lifts me up when when I need it most; my heavenly angels; 

my sisters who are my best friends; my Tias; my closest friends, who need no introduction; my sweet illustrator who brought to life all my dreams in these loving illustrations; and each and every single one of the kids that grew up having to juggle two identities, the "misfits," the outsiders, the ESL kids, the nerds, and anyone and everyone who was ever labeled. We are beautifully perfect exactly how we are. To you I say, don't give up. Rise up and defeat the odds, not for anyone else but for yourself, your true life force that pulses your heart's greatest desires. Live unapologetically while you cultivate your mind, your being, yourself, but most of all your existence.

 

My daddy, you are my twin, partner, best friend, and the most carefree, selfless man I'll ever know and have the privilege to call Papi. Lastly, gracias, gracias, gracias, "Amor de mi vida," mi Madre, for making sure that I knew my self worth, for instilling in me that the sky wasn't the limit, as there are footprints on the moon. I know you and Hita are lighting my path with whimsical fairies and stardust forever.

 

Chicago Loves Me is the beginning of a destination series that I hope will fill the hearts of families all over the world. I invite you to keep an eye out for "Loves Me" clothing, accessories, and keepsakes to complement the storybooks. Lastly, thank you for joining me through the pages of this book to explore the city I love most, my hometown, Chicago.

xoxo,
Vanessa