Storytime and activism: A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

A is for Activist is a small book with a cult following. It seems to pop up in all of the corners of the web that talk about social justice & parenting, at the small local bookstores, etc. It’s an ABC book that talks about something radical with each letter: I is for immigrant and indigenous or L is for LGBTQ or T is for Trans or Z is for Zapatista, of course.


A certainly doesn’t understand everything (or even most) in it, but I think of it as a book that will grow with us. Right now, for a family with a one-and-a-half year old, it has good illustrations and a fun rhythm of the text. It gives us an opportunity to practice how we (the adults) want to start talking to him about certain topics. As he grows into the preschool years, I’m sure we will use it as a jumping off point for discussions around social issues. And because the text is poetic in nature, I think we can use it into the elementary years. As A’s understanding of poetry grows, we can unveil new meanings of the short letter-based poems together.

This book is truly a radical children’s book. It calls out democrats and republicans alike; it calls out capitalism; it calls out problematic narratives of activists (R: “’ruinous rioters’ the headlines said…really?”). It makes me want to be more accountable to my beliefs. I am grateful to have it in A’s little library, and I highly recommend it!

P.S. See some of my other children’s book reviews here, here, here, and here

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