1. Is this really for kids? Seems like there are a lot of big words.
  2. Will I be encouraging my kid to climb a crane and drop a banner by reading this book?
  3. But not everyone who considers themselves “progressive” agrees with you on all the issues.
  4. You missed my issue!
  5. I recognize Cesar Chavez and MLK, but who are all the other people in the candlelight vigil image?
  6. Are you doing a poster version of this?
  7. Ok, what’s with the cat?

 

FAQs:

1. Is this really for kids? Seems like there are a lot of big words.

Yes, there are some big words and concepts in there, but not bigger than a “gruvvulous glove” or a “rippulous pond” (Lorax). And at the end of the day, if our kids memorize words like “democracy” or “movimiento”, isn’t that just as good as “Fiffer-feffer-feff” (Dr. Seuss’s ABCs) or “Gheeling” (Wocket in my Pocket)?

Those are from great books that I love reading to my son, and have stood the test of generations. The point they make is that at this age every book you read them doesn’t have to be about teaching vocabulary that can be immediately applied in daily “conversation”. This is about you spending meaningful time with your child, and both of you enjoying it. My son does like saying “zapatista” now, but he first picked up on “boo! hiss!” and pointing out the angry elephant.

2. Will I be encouraging my kid to climb a crane and drop a banner by reading this book?

Possibly, but you’ll probably have to do more than read this book. The question of what spurs people to activism is a deep and complicated one. As far as I know, it’s not usually a single ABC book read at toddler age—though there’s also never been an ABC book like this one before, so who knows?

3. But not everyone who considers themselves “progressive” agrees with you on all the issues.

That’s true. I struggled with a few of the issues, knowing that their inclusion might narrow the audience. But in the end, I decided that this should not be a “least common denominator” book. When we look back at this book 10 years from now, I want to know that it was on the right side of history. Most of you who are considering getting a copy of this book will be excited by the issues it touches on. Yet some people you might consider giving it to may be challenged. But how could a book called A is for Activist be designed NOT be bold on the issues?

4. You missed my issue!

Are you sure? A lot of stuff is in there in subtle ways, even if it doesn’t have it’s own dedicated letter/page. But if so, sorry. Maybe in the next edition.

5. I recognize Cesar Chavez and MLK, but who are all the other people in the candlelight vigil image?

Glad you asked! I’ve made a map, here.

3. Are you doing a poster version of this?

Eventually, but not right away.

6. Ok, what’s with the cat?

Actually, the question is “where’s the cat?” It’s a question you can ask the toddler you’re reading this to on every spread.