Counting on Community

Written and Illustrated by: Innosanto Nagara

For Ages: Infant and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Community, Activism, Literacy.

Summary: This book is a companion to A is for Activist, focusing on numeric literacy coupled with characteristics of a strong community. Most bold on the pages are the diverse illustrations which have the number hidden within it as well as a duck for the reader to find. The words have a lyrical quality to them, and help the audience get into a rhythm while reading. “Eight picket signs showing that we care” for example, has the number 8, the written word, and the visual representation of eight picket signs. All of these together aid in the development of algebraic thinking, a crucial developmental stage for all young children. Nagara truly is a visionary in children’s literature, and Counting on Community is a must for every young reader’s library.

Reflection Questions:

  • What is the highest number you can count to?
  • What is something you can think of that you have a large number of? Example: grains of rice, blocks, family members, or street signs.
  • How are you an important part of the community?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Make your own list of numbered things that you have in your community that goes along with the themes in the book.
  • Make a book for young readers that is also a guide to being a part of your neighborhood or school!
  • Think of a way you can help your community. What is something it needs, and who can you talk to about it? A new playground slide, a fixed sidewalk for better accessibility, or something else!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Children's book author Innosanto Nagara
Innosanto Nagara , author of two children’s books he says is “for the next generation of progressives” that introduce young readers to concepts including activism, environmental justice and civil rights, is photographed at his workplace, Design Action Collective in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. Nagara works at the Design Action Collective a community of artists creating graphic designs and communications for progressive, non-profit and social change organizations. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

 

 

Innosanto Nagara was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, and moved to the U.S. in 1988 to study zoology at UC Davis. A couple of decades later, he is a graphic designer. He is a founding member of Design Action Collective, a worker-owned cooperative design studio in Oakland that is dedicated to “serving the Movement for social change”. He’s very lucky to be able to do what he does best (graphic design) for the people and organizations he respects the most (activists) who are working towards a better world.

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