"In this powerful concept book follow-up to A Is for Activist (2013), Nagara tackles counting. Typical urban neighborhood pastimes are depicted with verve and vibrant colors, including working in community gardens and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Young readers will have fun trying to locate an ever-present duck on each spread. Racial and ethnic diversity is celebrated on every page, and the lyrical text will inspire budding and longtime activists alike." School Library Journal
"Innosanto Nagara is writing a new kind of children's book. Besides being a fun, rhythmic, and lively text to read, the book's illustrations present a world of diversity and complex, inclusive beauty. We should shower our children, schools, libraries, and our communities with books like this one."
Julia Alvarez, author of numerous books including, A Wedding in Haiti: the Story of a Friendship and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, and founding member of Border of Lights, an ongoing movement to promote peace and collaboration between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, borderoflights.org
"Meaningful change begins with doing small things at the local level, like picking up trash on the street, helping a neighbor, planting a community garden. Counting on Community encourages our children to embrace the power within each of us to create the world anew, to become SOLUTIONARIES."
—Grace Lee Boggs
Lifelong social activist and author of The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
"At last, a counting book that will speak to all kinds of different people, living in diverse environments! Counting on Community has real-world content that breaks up stereotypes while teaching."
Author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
"Counting on Community is a meaningful introduction to early readers about our innate power to contribute to our home, neighborhood and the world."
—Ozomatli (sometimes also known as OzoKidz)
"Few children’s books present a world in which kids and their families are so diverse, engaged, and vibrant. Not only is Counting on Community an endearing and beautifully illustrated book, it represents the best hopes and dreams for our communities."
Food justice activist, host of the PBS series The Endless Feast, and author of Afro-Vegan
"...The decision to publish it as a board book could, in itself, be considered an act of taking a stand and giving voice. This is not a book adapted into a board book, but an intentional decision to create a space that values our youngest readers as those who should be invited into the conversation... [W]hat I think Innosanto captures so poignantly...are the little ways of showing up: shared meals, celebrations, making art and music, working and playing together. Because of this, and the the style of illustration that you describe, I am able to find my community (which is currently the middle of a rainforest in Panama) between these pages. These illustrations allow us to see ourselves and to consider the ways we contribute to and are nourished by our communities–or perhaps, the things we wish we paid more attention to."
— Dorea Kleker and Lauren Pangle, Worlds of Words
Toddler-PreS—In this powerful concept book follow-up to A Is for Activist (Triangle Pr., 2013), Nagara tackles counting. Typical urban neighborhood pastimes are depicted with verve and vibrant colors, including working in community gardens and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Young readers will have fun trying to locate an ever-present duck on each spread. Racial and ethnic diversity is celebrated on every page, and the lyrical text will inspire budding and longtime activists alike.
A difficult concept is simply and strikingly illustrated for the very youngest members of any community, with a counting exercise to boot. From the opening invitation, "Living in community, / it's a lot of FUN! / Lets count the ways. / Lets start with ONE," Nagaro shows an urban community that is multicultural, supportive, and happy—exactly like the neighborhoods that many families choose to live and raise their children in. Text on every other page rhymes unobtrusively. Unlike the vocabulary found in A Is for Activist (2013), this book's is entirely age-appropriate (though some parents might not agree that picketing is a way to show "that we care"). In A Is for Activist, a cat was hidden on each page; this time, finding the duck is the game. Counting is almost peripheral to the message. On the page with "Seven bikes and scooters and helmets to share," identifying toys in an artistic heap is confusing. There is only one helmet for five toys, unless you count the second helmet worn by the girl riding a scooter—but then there are eight items, not seven. Seven helmets and seven toys would have been clearer. That quibble aside, Nagara's graphic design skills are evident, with deep colors, interesting angles, and strong lines, in a mix of digital collage and ink. Ideal for any community where children count. (Board book. 2-5)