Pages from A is for Activist

Pages from A is for Activist

I don’t remember where I heard about this children’s book but A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara has got to be the best alphabet book ever! Not only do we have words like F is for Feminist but they also all have little rhymes to go along with them:


F is for Feminist.
For Fairness in pay.
For Freedom to Flourish
and choose our own way.

And the art! Nagara did the art himself. Its vivid, gorgeous colors, are a delight for the eye. The art itself is often simple but it works so well with the color that the book feels lush and rich.

I don’t know how a child would like the book, but as an adult, if this book became one that a kid wanted me to read over and over I don’t think I would mind so much. Admittedly, kids are not likely to understand all the letters in the book, but that’s ok, because I would think it would provide plenty of opportunity to talk to the child about what justice is or what LGBTQ means.

So if you are looking for a children’s book that isn’t pink or filled with cars or talking animals, you really can’t go wrong here. My niece is pregnant and due in April. She is having a girl and they attended the women’s march in their town. When Bookman and I send baby some gifts in a couple months, this book will be part of the package.

cover artI also read another children’s book by Nagara, My Night in the Planetarium. It is a true story about when he was a boy in Indonesia. His father was (and is) a playwright, poet and actor who wrote a play against “the General” who was in power at the time. At first the General ignored it but it became too popular and troops were sent to arrest Nagara’s father and all the actors after their biggest performance yet. But they all got away and went into hiding for a little while.

The story has a happy ending and Nagara’s father is acting in movies and has become very famous now.

The book is more complex than the alphabet book and the art is too. The color is just as rich, but the drawings are a bit more detailed. Definitely a book for slightly older children, kindergarten maybe? The story has peril and excitement, sure to hold a child’s attention. And by its very nature it teaches the importance of standing up for what is right without making it into a moral lesson.

Good stuff!