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. Writer Jacob Kramer and artist K-Fai Steele's 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 this on-demand video, and then tune in on October 8 for a live Q&A with author and racial justice educator Francie Latour.
Storytime: Okapi Tale [pre-recorded]
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!
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.