A is for Activist is an ABC board book that I’ve written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: Families that want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and so on.
The rhymes are fun for the kids to hear and play with, but also meaningful for us grownups. It was important to me that the book be one that I too would enjoy reading over and over—not something I’d want to hide after day 3, even if my son loved it. The illustrations are also multi-layered. Your kid will find something they can learn to recognize on each page. There are new things to discover over multiple readings. There are references for grownups to “get”, and maybe even be a conversation starter down the line. Oh, and there’s always a cat.
How it came about
Originally I was just going to make one copy of this book for my own two year old. But as I started working on it and sharing the idea, I received so much encouragement and enthusiasm from others, I decided I needed to do this for real. I’m a collective member at Design Action, a worker-owned activist design studio in Oakland. Design Action immediately embraced this project, and I started to work on it. However, producing a full-fledged board book with all original artwork turns out to be an costly endeavor. So we decided to see if we could raise some initial funds through kickstarter. Thanks to the overwhelming support of so many people, we were able to, well, kickstart the project.
The rest is history—history that you made. As I continued to work on the book and “field test” it with toddlers I know, many of you placed “pre-orders” and got me over the threshold necessary to get it printed. And on November 5th, 2012, the books arrived.