Boston Book Festival 2020 Boston Book Festival 2020

Picture Book Creator Q&A: Oh, the Things We're For!

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Innosanto Nagara
Oh, The Things We're For!

Innosanto Nagara is a children’s book author, illustrator, and activist designer. He was born and raised in Indonesia and moved to the United States in 1988. His work encourages children to grow up with confidence in themselves and to be proactive citizens who are passionate about causes including environmental issues, LGBTQ rights, and civil rights. Nagara’s first book, A is for Activist, started a movement in social justice book publishing for children. Oh, The Things We’re For! is his latest. He lives in a cohousing community in Oakland with nine adults and eight kids.

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Tanya Nixon-Silberg is a racial justice educator, consultant, and puppeteer. She developed a puppet show production, My Night in the Planetarium, an adaptation of the children's book by Innosanto Nagara. She is also the founder of the racial justice project Little Uprisings, which strives to build long-lasting relationships in order to take root and grow into practice that allows justice to take hold daily. Her work informs the intersection of many identities. Called a "translator," she has the ability to distill concepts of racial justice to young children in ways that help them imagine, take back the world, and create change. Her life’s goal is to make sure that Black and Brown children recognize that racism is systemic, that educators not shy away from confronting systemic racism in the classroom, and that engaging in this work collectively helps us to heal.

Picture books offer some of the best openings for family discussions of social justice issues, so this year, we’re pleased to offer several conversations with the creators of new picture books that tackle timely themes in terms that will resonate with all members of the family. In his first book, A Is for Activist, Innosanto Nagara started a movement in social justice picture books. Now, in Oh, the Things We’re For!, Nagara uses catchy rhyming text and bold illustrations to inspire young people to take action for causes they believe in, from the battle for universal healthcare and a living wage to the fight against climate change. Watch Nagara read his book in our on-demand video, and then tune in for this Q&A with Nagara and racial justice educator Tanya Nixon-Silberg. Tune in live for your chance to ask questions and interact with the book’s creator!

Ages 6–9