Boston Book Festival 2020 Boston Book Festival 2020

Picture Book Creator Q&A: Okapi Tale

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Jacob Kramer
Okapi Tale

Jacob Kramer grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and studied filmmaking and writing at Harvard. He now lives in Somerville, Massachusetts where he is an Arts Council Fellow. His picture book, Noodlephant, with illustrator K-Fai Steele, was one of Kirkus Reviews’ best books of 2019. Its sequel, Okapi Tale, also with Steele, introduces young readers to concepts of privatization and collective action—all in a story about pasta!

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K-Fai Steele
Okapi Tale

K-Fai Steele is a children’s author and illustrator and recipient of the James Marshall Fellowship at the University of Connecticut. Her illustrations appear in Old MacDonald Had a Baby and Noodlephant, which was named a Kirkus Best of 2019 Picture Book. Her debut children’s book, A Normal Pig, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist. Her 2020 book Okapi Tale is a follow-up to Noodlephant and gives children a digestible story about politics, power, privatization, and pasta.

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Francie Latour is a writer and editor whose work explores issues of race, culture, and identity. She was a Boston Globe staff reporter for a decade, and her essays have been featured on National Public Radio, the Today show, The Root, and Essence. Latour coordinates a diversity initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and is the co-founder and co-director of Wee The People, a social justice project for Boston-based kids. Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings, illustrated by Ken Daley, is her first picture book. It received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, and was a Américas Award Honor Book, as well as Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2018 About History and Tradition.

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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. First up are writer Jacob Kramer and artist K-Fai Steele, whose new book Okapi Tale is a companion to their earlier book Noodlephant. This time, the animal inhabitants of Beaston take on capitalism and privatization with cooperation and creativity! Watch Kramer and Steele read their book in our on-demand video, and then tune in for this Q&A with author and racial justice educator Francie Latour. Tune in live for your chance to ask questions and interact with the book’s creators!

Ages 6–10