Tag Archives: community

Make Trouble (Young Readers Edition)

Written by: Cecile Richards with Lauren Peterson

Cover Art by: Eugenia Mello

For ages: Young Adults

Language: English 

Topics Covered: Trailblazer, Politics, Women in Politics, Activism, Feminism, Bodily Autonomy, Memoir/Biography, Political Activism, Family, Planned Parenthood, Inspiration, Growing Up, Community Involvement. 

Summary: For our first skill to take into the new year we’ve chosen: Activism! This is what we want to embody most throughout the next decade, and Make Trouble is the perfect place to start.  Through the acts of many we can create waves of change.  Let’s join together and take this new beginning as a time for hard work, direct action, and step into our power!

This book is awesome!  It is part memoir, political history, and call to action for everyone reading the book.  Something I really love about this book is that it doesn’t shy away from the really difficult parts of campaigning and activism, but the unfairness of the system that we’re up against doesn’t diminish Cecile’s hope for a better future.

Make Trouble guides the reader through Cecile’s life and career (especially at Planned Parenthood), she comes from a long line of political organizers and continues that tradition with her children today.  Throughout the book there are questions for the reader to be able to reflect on their own lives and become inspired to change thing about the injustices experienced in daily life.  Being able to find the courage to speak out and begin to organize for change is a difficult and necessary job for young people today.  Luckily, they’re already doing a great job!

This book makes the point over and over again that we must persevere through the garbage and keep fighting on the ground to create ripples of change for both our lives and the lives of others.  Organizing and activism are long roads filled with late nights, tired feet, and disappointment.  But we can join together to affect great change and ensure that all humans enjoy their personal liberties and work to counteract the systems of oppression that keep cycles of marginalization spinning.  Our work is not over, but we are together for the fight.

About the Authors & Cover Artist:

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Cecile Richards is a nationally respected leader in the field of women’s health, reproductive rights, and social change. She began her career helping garment workers, hotel workers, and nursing home aides fight for better wages and working conditions. After years in the labor movement, she moved back home to Texas to help elect the state’s first Democratic woman governor: her mother, Ann Richards. She went on to start her own grassroots organizations, and later served as deputy chief of staff to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2011 and 2012, she was named one of Timemagazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. For over ten years, Richards served as president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues related to women’s rights and activism. Richards serves on the board of the Ford Foundation. She and her husband, Kirk Adams, have three children and reside in New York City.

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Lauren Peterson is a writer, strategist, and the co-author of New York Times bestseller Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead by Cecile Richards.She was a speechwriter and digital strategist on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, where she wrote about issues ranging from jobs and the economy to reproductive rights and immigration reform. Previously, she worked as a senior advisor and writer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and a senior writer on President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Lauren is passionate about progressive politics, storytelling, and finding the clearest way to communicate a compelling message to the right audience. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has been featured in Medium.com’s “Words That Matter”CosmopolitanTeen VogueFusion’s “30 Women Who Will Change the Election”, and Madison MagazineLauren lives with her fiancée, Liz, and their rescue dog, Basil, in Brooklyn.  

Processed with VSCO with b5 presetEugenia Mello is an illustrator and graphic designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina currently living and drawing in NYC.
She studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires, where she also taught Design and Typography courses for several years.
She holds an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Latin American Illustration, Creative Quarterly and 3×3 Magazine, among others.
She is passionate about rhythm, movement and feelings, and uses color and shape to translate into drawing the things that are difficult to put into words. She is always hoping to get music out of her images.

She was recently awarded a Gold medal from the Society of Illustrators for her illustrated moving piece Hope for the Day

Q&A with Alastair Moock!

Happy Saturday!  Our Week of Music is continuing to rock, and we’ve boogied through a whole week already!  Luckily, we have one more special music-related book to review for tomorrow.  But, let’s focus on today!  Yesterday we learned a bit about Alastair’s music, so today we’ll learn about him!  Hope everyone is having a great day, and keep on rockin’ 🙂

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Photo by Michael D. Spencer

The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself!

Alastair Moock: I’m Alastair Moock. Among other things, I perform for kids and families and also present assembly programs and workshops in schools around social justice history.

 

 

TTA: What are you passionate about?

AM: Educating and inspiring through music.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!

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Billie Jean King

AM: I’m currently working on an album all about leadership and activism. It looks to the
heroes of our past (Dr. King, Harvey Milk, Billie Jean King, Pete Seeger, Rosa Parks,
Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez) and our present (Malala Yousafzai, the Parkland student
protestors) to inspire our kids to move the ball forward. I wrote the songs over the past year, and we begin recording at the beginning of October.

TTA: How can people support you on your journey?

AM: I’ll be doing a fundraising campaign for this album, my first in many years. I don’t
generally ask fans for money up front like this, but I have a good reason this time: I want
to get this album, and my assembly programs, into the hands of kids and schools that
might not otherwise be able to afford them. Through this campaign, every time a
supporter buys a CD, I’ll give one away to a kid or teacher. I’ll also be providing free
assemblies and programs to Head Start programs and underserved schools.

7109Acm8ueLTTA: What book was your favorite in 2019 so far?

AM: Right now I’m digging Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.

TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

AM: Recording this new album!

 

About the Artist:

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Alastair Moock is a 2014 GRAMMY Nominee, two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, recipient of the ASCAP Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award, and has twice been voted by the Fids & Kamily Industry Critics’ Poll among the Top 3 Albums of the Year. Long one of Boston’s premier folk artists, Alastair turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twins in 2006. The New York Times calls him “a Tom Waits for kids” and The Boston Globe declares that, “in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alastair Moock makes real kids music that parents can actually enjoy.” Moock and Friends’ live shows are rowdy, rootsy, singin’ and dancin’ fun for the whole family!

Rickshaw Girl

Written by: Mitali Perkins

Illustrated by: Jamie Hogan

For ages: YA Book, easy read.

Language: English, some Bangla. Glossary included in back.

Topics Covered: Feminism, Bangladeshi Culture & Traditions, POC-Centric Narratives, Own Voices, Women in Business.

Summary: This is a quick read about a girl named Naima, who paints the best alpanas in the village.  But, she dreams of more.  Naima yearns for the freedom that boys and men have to work and earn money, to pursue education, and not have to stay around the house doing chores. Naima’s father is a rickshaw driver, and one afternoon when he is taking a rest she tries to drive it so she can disguise herself as a boy and help him earn money.  Unfortunately, she crashes into a thicket and damages the rickshaw.  Her father continues to drive it damaged, until he can’t get anymore business because it starts to rust.  He has heard that a rickshaw repair shop he used to frequent until it shut down has reopened, and Naima’s mother gives him one of her gold bangle bracelets to pay for the repairs.  Meeting her friend Saleem (they must meet in secret, because he is a boy) in the woods, they hatch a plan that Naima will borrow Saleem’s mosque clothes and offer her painting services to the repair shop in exchange for the repairs her father needs so he doesn’t have to use the bangle.  Naima walks to the shop, marveling at the freedom boys and men have to walk around in the streets, and even drink tea at cafes while watching television!  When she gets to the shop, she asks a woman to direct her to the repairman so she may offer her services.  Much to Naima’s shock, she is gruffly told that the woman is the shop owner and rickshaw repair person!  In a rush, Naima takes off her disguise and tells the woman the whole story, and her frustrations that she can’t earn money for her family.  The shop owner softens, and gives her a chance to demonstrate her painting abilities.  After several hours of hard work, Naima’s father arrives in a flurry of worry about Naima’s whereabouts.  He is shocked to find that the repair shop owner is a woman (she took it over when her father passed away, which is why it was closed) and that Naima has been helping her paint all afternoon and evening!  The shop owner offers to exchange the rickshaw repairs for Naima’s labor, and offers to pay her after the repairs are made.  Naima has finally found a way to funnel her artistic talents into a viable source of income for her family!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

largeMitali Perkins has written twelve books for young readers, including Between Us and AbuelaForward Me Back To You,You Bring the Distant Near, and Rickshaw Girl, all of which explore crossing different kinds of borders. She was honored as a “Most Engaging Author” by independent booksellers across the country and has addressed a diversity of audiences in schools and libraries, as well as at festivals and conferences. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India before immigrating to the United States. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied Political Science at Stanford and Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jsilver_webJamie Hogan is an award-winning illustrator, educator, and biker living three miles out to sea.  She grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and earned a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design.

Her illustrations have appeared in books and magazines as well as winning merit from the Maine Advertising Club, the 3 x 3 Illustration Annual,  American Illustration, PRINT Magazine, Graphis, and the Society of Illustrators.

She is the author and illustrator of The Seven Days of Daisy, and the illustrator of a dozen children’s books, as well as several adult titles. She illustrated Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Association Award and named on the New York Public Library’s list of 100 Best Books.

Jamie was an adjunct professor at Maine College of Art in Portland from 2003 to 2018, teaching courses in the BFA Illustration program and Continuing Studies. She is currently a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

Since 1992, Jamie has lived on Peaks Island with her husband, Marty Braun, and daughter, Daisy. An avid motorcyclist and sketchbook keeper, she draws inspiration from moonlight, reflections, pink clouds, wishing on the first star, and the raw beauty that is Maine.

 

Sound Off Saturday featuring: Parakeet Books!

Happy Saturday!  We are super jazzed to feature a great publisher that we’re totally in love with: UK-based Parakeet Books!  It’s been a minute since we’ve been able to feature someone for Sound Off Saturday, and these are the perfect humans to start the series back up again with.  Hope everyone is having a good day, and that you are able to take a look at the literature-world-shaking that these two powerhouses are up to 🙂

The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself/your organisation!

IMG_6969Parakeet Books: Hello! We are Sheju John and Judy Skidmore of Parakeet Books. All our books are diverse and inclusive, all our books are feature stories. We write children’s tales and adventures where the main characters are people of colour, or they have disabilities, or girls are the heroes, or they feature LGBTQ+ families. We’ve both worked in other industries for a while and after we had our children (now 2 aged and 5) we really wanted to make diverse books for them that reflect the world around them. The more we searched in the book shops, online and in the library, the more we found that diverse books featuring people with black and brown skin just aren’t there. So we make our own and we decided to bring in us much diversity as we can – starting with us.

TTA: What are you passionate about?

socialPK: Equality. We always knew we wanted to be part of positive change. We recycle and do our best for society and the planet. Then we had kids and this publishing company just … popped out of us! We are the only publishing company that pledge to create 100% diverse and inclusive books. So far our books feature main characters who are people of colour, girls as heroes, gender neutral characters, and LGBTQ+ families. In the pipeline we are creating books with main characters with differing abilities or disabilities. And crucially. The books are good! They focus on rip-roaring tales, and cosy family adventures for all children. We also showcase other authors and illustrators making diverse books so if people are looking for recommendations they might want to head over to our insta feed.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!

_DSC4035PK: We just finished a collaboration with a local primary school to create an alphabet book made entirely from the school children’s work. It is a sideways take on the usual ABC book with stories, poems, tongue twisters and drawings all inspired by the letters of the alphabet. The children’s creativity and innovation have blown us away. It is a joyful, proud and touching book.

TTA: How can people support you on your journey?

5-6PK: Buy our books for your family and friends and share our posts on social media. Join our No Outsiders campaign to get LGBT families represented in every school room. Leave reviews on Amazon. Aaaand if you are a book publicist or book distributer and like what we do, please get in touch because we are ready to for distribution.

TTA: What book was your favourite in 2019 so far?

PK: We’re in love with Swami on Rye. We liked the look of it and Sheju’s oldest friend is called Swami! The hero, Max goes off on a wild search for the meaning of life that takes him to India, where he visits the Temple of Doubletalk, meets a chatty guru named Vivek Shabaza-zaza-za, and has other adventures. It is totally surreal. And we’re cheating because it turns out this books came out in 1995 – but it only came to us in 2019! We also bought Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys – it is sumptuous to look at and moving to read. The book features all different kinds of families and we got it from London’s only gay Book Shop – Gay’s the Word. Gay’s the Word also stock our book, Eve’s New Brother, which makes us wildly proud.

TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

IMG_4072PK: Making another book, collaborating with  schools and children – they have the best ideas, it’s a blast.

 

 

 

 

 

Stay connected with Parakeet Books!

The Tiny Activist was able to be a guest on “Reading With Your Kids” Podcast!

Happy Friday!

We had the amazing opportunity to be guests on an awesome podcast in the children’s literature community-Reading With Your Kids! The podcast puts up 5 episodes a week and interviews everyone from authors & illustrators to extra special guests like LeVar Burton!

The two of us were able to discuss a variety of topics with the host Jedlie; our mission and drive, as well as aspects of literacy and the best things about being in the children’s literature community.  We truly enjoyed being able to discuss the issues that are important to us, and what makes an important literary contribution to the ever-growing publishing industry.  It was a fantastic experience and fortuitous moments like this remind us how lucky we are to be able to continue developing the scope of our skills and community-building.

You can listen to our episode here! Let us know what you think, and be sure to listen to some of the other guests on the podcast as well 🙂 Have a great day everyone!

Grandpa Cacao

Written & Illustrated by: Elizabeth Zunon

For ages: 4 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Family, African Culture & Traditions, Love, Farming, Agriculture, Chocolate, Community, Cooking.

Summary: This story follows tangential plot-lines of a little girl making her favorite chocolate birthday cake recipe for herself, and also learning about her grandfather who is a farmer, owning a cacao farm.  The book is set up to show the parallels between the main character and her grandfather, because they have never met.  As her father guides her through the cake making process, we learn about both the steps in the cacao harvesting and drying process as well as the characteristics the two share.  They both word hard and have “boat-wide feet”, along with several other important skills like smelling rain or cold weather.

As the cake gets closer to being done, so does the cacao drying process, and the main character learns about how her grandfather and father would go to the market to sell the  dried cacao to chocolate processors.  Afterwards, the pair would surprise her grandmother at her fruit stand!

Now that the cake is finished, our birthday girl is really wondering where her mother could have gone, and when they can eat the cake.  Suddenly the door opens, it’s her mother and an older man she’s never met before.  She studies him for a moment…they both have the same ears, eyes, and smile.  It’s her grandfather, all the way from Africa!  He brings her a cacao fruit, and the book ends with their embrace.

This is a great book, very informative!  In the back is information about cacao and the cacao trade, including information about how to support businesses that do not exploit child labor.  There is also a map and the history of chocolate, as well as the cake recipe mentioned in the book.

Reflection Questions:

  • What is something you learned when reading the book?
  • Do you have any family that lives far away?
  • How would you feel if they surprised you on your birthday?
  • What do you think would be the most fun part about the chocolate-making process?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Watch a video about the chocolate-making process.  Are there other places in the world besides Africa that cacao grows?

About the Author & Illustrator:

71zhtxpjlql._us230_Elizabeth Zunon was born in Albany, NY and spent her childhood in a hot, sunny, tropical country in West Africa called the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), where people speak French (and many other languages). Elizabeth’s Mom read Elizabeth’s little brother and Elizabeth a lot of bedtime stories in English after they came home from speaking French all day at school. As a little girl, she loved to draw, paint, make up dances and play dress-up, and as Elizabeth grew up, that didn’t really change! After returning to the United States, Elizabeth attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and graduated in June 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration.  She’s now back in Albany, where every day she might draw, paint, collage, sew, silkscreen, make jewelry, purses, and ponder the endless possibilities of chocolate! Her work is largely influenced by the people, places, and things from her childhood in the Ivory Coast as the product of two cultures.  You can also follow her blog-Lizzie Blogs!

When Grandma Gives You A Lemon Tree

Written by: Jamie L. B. Deenihan

Illustrated by: Lorraine Rocha

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Family, Love, Rhyming, Community, Independence, Etiquette.

Summary: This book is SO cute!  The story begins with our main character making a birthday wish list filled with electronics.  What she receives however, is unexpected…a lemon tree!

The clever part of this book is it teaches proper politeness etiquette when receiving something unexpected for a gift and ties in helping the community.  The illustrations assist with the lesson, helping the reader and audience understand what not to do so that feelings of the gift-giver are not hurt!

The story goes through what to do and what not to do in the care and keeping of a lemon tree.  Water, sunlight, and year-round care until….lemons!! The main character and her grandma pick lemons and make some delicious lemonade. Remember those electronics that she wanted?  What better way to get them than to earn the money yourself?  The main character sets up a stand in the neighborhood, earning the money for the items she wanted.  Upon getting to the store, she sees a huge plant sale! The young girl buys enough plants to jazz up the vacant lot near her apartment building, beautifying the space for everyone (who finally look up from their electronics to notice the beauty surrounding them)!

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you ever received something unexpected for a gift?
  • How did you react?
  • Do you think this book would have helped you learn some solutions for handling the unexpected gift graciously?
  • How do you think the main character felt when she was able to help the community with her lemonade stand?
  • What is something you would like to do for your community or neighborhood?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Make the recipe in the back of the book!  What do you think of it?
  • Being responsible enough to make your own money is a big job.  What is something you would like to save up for?  What would happen after this goal is achieved?  Could the goal be considered beneficial for someone other than you?  For instance, is it helpful to the community you’re a part of, or siblings?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

YrcPsKgb_400x400Jamie was a first grade teacher and certified reading specialist in Western Massachusetts for ten years. After her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015, she took time away from her classroom to be home with her family, teach part-time, and pursue a writing career.

Her debut picture book, WHEN GRANDMA GIVES YOU A LEMON TREE, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha, was released on March 5, 2019.  To learn about Jamie’s other upcoming picture books, please visit the “Books” page of this website.

Jamie lives in Connecticut, near the family farm she grew up on, with her husband, two children, and a growing collection of lemon trees. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Julie Hedlund’s 12X12 Picture Book Challenge. Jamie is represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Agency.  

biopictureLorraine Rocha started out studying architecture but quickly realized she wanted to draw more than just floor plans and returned to school to study illustration and animation at San Jose State University. After graduation, she worked at Industrial Light + Magic in the art department, contributing to such films as National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Miracle at St. Anna, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Ironman.

Following her time at ILM, Lorraine worked as a concept artist on the game Bioshock 2 and taught classes at The Art Institute of Las Vegas.

Upon her return to the San Francisco bay area, Lorraine focused on picture book illustration, and creating funny, whimsical images. Lorraine’s debut picture book, Zebra On The Go, will be published in 2017.

Lorraine lives with her two favorite people, her husband and daughter. All three enjoy singing and dancing, and Lorraine’s cooking.