Reach and Teach
Reach and Teach is a peace and social justice learning company, transforming the world through teachable moments.
An inspiring company that also has a fantastic store in San Mateo, California—
The Dove & Olive Works. Even if you can't drop in, you can visit them online at www.reachandteach.com!
"Call it a social justice/education store/community center mashup. It's not like any other store or non-profit center around, which makes categorizing this new enterprise a little challenging—in a good way . . ." — Pam Marino, GoodNeighborStories.com
1. Ivy, Homeless in San Francisco —Summer Brenner and Brian Bowes
2. Operation Marriage — Cynthia Chin-Lee and Lea Lyon
3. Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon Coloring Book — Jacinta Bunnell and Nathaniel Kusinitz
4. Girls are Not Chicks Coloring Book — Jacinta Bunnell and Julie Novak
5. Abe in Arms — Pegi Deitz Shea
6. The Big Gay Alphabet Coloring Book —Jacinta Bunnell and Leela Corman
7. CIVIO: A Civil Rights Strategy Card Game —Reach And Teach and Innosanto Nagara
8. A Wolf at the Gate —Mark Van Steenwyk and Joel Hedstrom
A Wolf at the Gate
Author: Mark Van Steenwyk • Illustrator: Joel Hedstrom
Publisher: PM Press/Reach And Teach
Page count: 80
Subjects: Juvenile Fiction-Folklore/Juvenile Fiction-Social Issues
The Blood Wolf prowls near the village of Stonebriar at night. She devours chickens and goats and cows and cats. Some say children are missing. But this murderous wolf isn’t the villain of our story, she’s the hero!
The Blood Wolf hates humankind for destroying the forest, but an encounter with a beggar teaches her a better way to confront injustice. How will she react when those she loves are threatened?
This imaginative retelling of the legend of Saint Francis and the Wolf explores what it means to be a peacemaker in the midst of violence and how to restore a healthy relationship with creation.
Settle in and read a tale of tooth and sword, of beggars and lords, of outlaws and wild beasts. It is a story of second chances and the power of love. This is the story of the A Wolf at the Gate.
“A Wolf at the Gate is a simple story that evokes profound and fundamental themes: survival, hunger, war and violence, law and justice, fear, greed, and predation. In the hands of Mark Van Steenwyk it becomes a transformative parable of truth and reconciliation, the power of community, and the dazzling force of love enacted in the public square, the very heart of justice.”
—Bill Ayers, author of Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident
“Van Steenwyk writes in sharp, muscular prose highly suitable for the fabulistic subject matter, deftly navigating both the darker and lighter segments of the story. The true standouts of the book, however, are the illustrations by Joel Hedstrom . . . full-page illustrations in brilliant colors that feel simultaneously ancient and stylishly contemporary. The result is a book out of time: a coupling of narrative and illustration that should stoke the imagination of any young modern reader. A visually stunning work addressing themes of peace, generosity, and forgiveness.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
“What a cutting-edge book! This retelling of a timeless story through fresh eyes not only provides a deeper insight into its original values, it also gives the story contemporary relevance. And the illustrations are an absolutely perfect embodiment of the book’s soul.”
—Innosanto Nagara, author of A is for Activist
—Chris Crass, author of Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy
“Van Steenwyk retells the story of St. Francis of Assisi and the wolf of Gubbio in his first book for children. This time, the story is narrated from the point of view of the wolf with a red coat, ‘born under the red glow of the Hunter’s Moon,’ a clever shift that adds tension and new beauty to a familiar tale. When her pack is forced to leave their native forest because humans in nearby Stonebriar deplete the wolves’ food, she remains. Angry and starving, the red wolf begins to prey on humans and their livestock. Soon, Blood Wolf, as she is now called, meets the Beggar King, ‘beloved by the common folk.’ Under his tutelage, she transforms from angry, violent predator—feared by animals and humans alike—to kind friend to all, renamed Sister Wolf. As a result of her instruction from the Beggar King, Sister Wolf comes to understand that all life is worth preserving and that loving kindness is the greatest of all gifts. Influenced by Japanese woodblock prints, Hedstrom’s stark, solid, and lovely illustrations appear throughout.”
CIVIO: A Civil Rights Strategy Card Game
Creator: Reach And Teach • Illustrator: Innosanto Nagara
Publisher: PM Press/Reach And Teach
Format: Card Game
Subjects: Politics-U.S./13 and up
CIVIO is a strategy card game that explores the relationship of issues, freedoms, laws, and Supreme Court cases that have both strengthened and reduced civil rights and civil liberties.
Using a handful of cards representing laws, Supreme Court decisions, constitutional amendments, key issues, and freedoms, you are in a race against other players to combine these cards into precedents. The more points you earn, the higher your ranking. In time, you could become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!
CIVIO comes with a deck of 78 cards, each beautifully and uniquely illustrated, four blank case cards for customizing the game, and instruction booklets for playing two versions of the game. The game is manufactured and assembled by a worker-owned (and union-labor) cooperative using recycled paper and soy-based ink.
CIVIO was created by the award-winning team at Reach And Teach and illustrated by bestselling author/illustrator Innosanto Nagara (A Is for Activist).
The Big Gay Alphabet Coloring Book
Author: Jacinta Bunnell • Illustrated by Leela Corman
Publisher: PM Press/ Reach and Teach
Page count: 64
Subjects: LGBTQ/Coloring Book
Grab your crayons and your backpack for a fantastical journey through The Big Gay Alphabet Coloring Book, sixty-four pages illustrating twenty-six words that highlight memorable victories and collective moments in LGBTQP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Pansexual) culture.
The Big Gay Alphabet Coloring Book is Jacinta Bunnell's fourth book in the Queerbook Committee series of coloring books (including Girls Are Not Chicks and Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon) and the first with acclaimed illustrator Leela Corman (Unterzakhn). As you add your own extraordinary colors to these pages, we hope you are left asking, “Isn't everything fabulous in this world just a little bit gay?” This notion is celebrated on every unique page, made up of inked and framed line drawings with beautiful typography, reminiscent of a handsomely designed vintage children's alphabet book.
Each day, we take another step toward a greater understanding of gender fluidity, gender diversity, and sexual orientation. Change does not come easily or unfold overnight. But together we are an unflappable squad of comrades staring down oppression while stopping to make art and find joy along the way.
“With beautifully rendered moments of Queer life, The Big Gay Alphabet Coloring Book offers over fifty pages of inked and framed line drawings and typography for folks of all ages, a tool for education and inspiration.”
—Cristy C. Road, author and illustrator of Spit and Passion
“Two of my favorite people in the world also happen to be among the most talented. I will add it to my new-parent gift pack, alongside Bunnell's other coloring book projects.”
—Anne Elizabeth Moore, The Ladydrawers Comics Collective
“Jacinta and Leela have created a beautiful, fun coloring book which teaches us that everyone is deserving of respect and understanding. I’m only halfway into this thing and I’ve already gone through three tubes of glitter!”
—Jon Wurster, Bob Mould Band
Ivy, Homeless in San Francisco
Author: Summer Brenner
Illustrator: Brian Bowes
Publisher: PM Press / Reach And Teach
Published June 2011
Size: 9 by 6
Page count: 176 Pages
Subjects: Fiction, Social Science (Ages 10 and up)
In this empathetic tale of hope, understanding, and the importance of family, readers face the difficult issue of poverty and the many hardships of being homeless through an inspiring young heroine named Ivy. Ivy is the story of a young girl who finds herself homeless on the streets of San Francisco when she and her father, Poppy, are evicted from his artist loft.
Struggling to survive day to day, Ivy and Poppy befriend a dog who takes them to the ramshackle home of quirky siblings Eugenia and Oscar Orr, marking the start of some amazing adventures. Blending a spoonful of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist with a dash of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City and a few pinches of the Adventures of Lassie, Ivy's tale will appeal to young readers as well as give adults material to discuss with children.
“Lolitas, Oliver Twists and Huckleberry Finns live on, and now, Ivy’s tale of hope lives right alongside them.” —Robin Clewly, San Francisco Chronicle
“A quirky, clever story about a young girl’s journey through the streets and homeless shelters of San Francisco . . . Ivy is fictional, but her circumstances are honest reflections of life for the many homeless children.” —San Jose Mercury News
"All the parts fit in so well that I almost forgot that I was reading a book. It was as if I was watching a movie and could hear their thoughts . . . I think this book is great for all ages. Ivy is both fun and moving." —Anna Moss, age 12 Boston, MA
"Ivy was one of the best books I have ever read. I liked it because it taught an important lesson of faith and trust." —Rachel Hodge, age 13. Savannah, GA
About the Authors:
Summer Brenner was raised in Georgia and migrated west, first to New Mexico and eventually to northern California where she has been a long-time resident. She has published books of both poetry and fiction, for adults and children, and given scores of readings in the United States, France, and Japan. In addition to Ivy, her nine books include: Richmond Tales, I-5, and The Soft Room.
Brian Bowes is an illustrator–designer living and working in San Francisco. Brian is developing a working style in watercolor and is inspired by a range of artists, from Wyeth to Asian ink paintings. Alternately this is mixed with his long love for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and a healthy fascination with shiny old-time machinery.
Author: Cynthia Chin-Lee
Illustrations: Lea Lyon
Publisher: PM Press/Reach and Teach
Published: October 2011
Size: 8.5 by 11
Page count: 32 Pages
Subjects: Children's Picture Book, Family
Eight-year old Alex has a fight with her best friend, Zach, who says he can no longer be her friend. Why? Because "her parents aren't married." Set in the San Francisco Bay Area months before the passage of Proposition 8 banning gay marriage in California, this picture book looks at the heartwarming and humorous actions of Alex and her younger brother, Nicky, to convince their parents to get married.
Though content with a commitment ceremony years earlier, the childrens' stubbornness prevails and the moms get legally married before Prop. 8 takes effect. Their love as a family is contagious as their neighbors begin to accept them for what they are: a normal, affectionate family.
Based on a true story, Cynthia Chin-Lee (author of Amelia to Zora) has written a splendid and touching story about a real family, and the real implications of the struggle for equality, with beautiful and captivating illustrations by Lea Lyon (Say Something).
"Operation Marriage is an honest, insightful, and touching story illustrating the many ways that lack of marriage equality impacts kids' lives. Its messages—perseverance, trusting oneself, facing adversity and standing up to it—are universal, but its approach to the particular social challenge of marriage inequality fills a void in the children's book world. There is power in seeing a problem from a child's perspective, and much that we grown-ups can learn from looking at the world through a child's eyes. This book belongs in every school library and on every public library shelf." —Sarah Hoffman, author of Pink Boys
"Even 3rd-graders know that commitment ceremonies are not weddings and domestic partnerships are not marriage. Operation Marriage shows how important marriage is to children and that they understand that anything less, is less than equal." —Dr. Davina Kotulski, psychologist, and author of Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage (2004) and Love Warriors: The Rise of the Marriage Equality Movement and Why it Will Prevail (2010)
"Cynthia delights audiences, with careful consideration not to leave anyone out. Her books are winners." —Heidi R. Kling, author of Sea
About the Authors:
Cynthia Chin-Lee is the author of A Is For Asia (Orchard Books), which Ruminator Review called one of the "Best 100 American Children's Books of the Century," and A is For the Americas (Orchard Books), which earned an award from the National Council for Social Studies and Children's Book Council (CBC/NCSS) as a Notable Children's Book in Social Studies. Her latest books are the award-winning Amelia to Zora: Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World, and Akira to Zoltan: Twenty-six Men Who Changed the World. She lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband, son, and two cats.Lea Lyon is an award-winning children's book illustrator, painting teacher, and portrait artist based in Richmond, CA. Her books include Say Something with Peggy Moss (Tilbury House), a Notable Social Studies Book and winner of the Teachers’ Choice Award from Learning magazine; Playing War with Kathy Beck (Tilbury House), winner of the Skipping Stones Magazine Award as one of the “Best 25 Multicultural Picture Books of 2006;” Keep Your Ear on the Ball with by Genevieve Petrillo (Tilbury House), winner of the Moonbeam Award in 2008 and runner up for the ALA Schneider Family Award in 2007. Lea’s most recent book, The Miracle Jar, is a Chanukah picture book by New York Times bestselling author Audrey Penn. (Tanglewood Books).
Author and Illustrator: Jacinta Bunnell and Nathaniel Kusinitz
Publisher: Reach And Teach / PM Press
Published: September 2010
Size: 11 by 8.5
Page count: 36
Subjects: Family-Children, Activity-Coloring Book
We have the power to change fairy tales and nursery rhymes so that these stories are more realistic. In Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With Another Spoon you will find anecdotes of real kids’ lives and true-to-life fairy tale characters. This book pushes us beyond rigid gender expectations while we color fantastic beasts who like pretty jewelry and princesses who build rocket ships.
Celebrate sensitive boys, tough girls, and others who do not fit into a disempowering gender categorization.
Sometimes the Spoon . . . aids the work of dismantling the Princess Industrial Complex by moving us forward with more honest representations of our children and ourselves. Color to your heart's content. Laugh along with the characters. Write your own fairy tales. Share your own truths.
"As moving and funny as Walter the Farting Dog, with pictures you can color however your heart desires, Sometimes the Spoon... is appropriate for children of all ages, especially those who grew up without it."
—Ayun Halliday, Chief Primatologist of The East Village Inky
"For some people the sky's the limit. For Jacinta Bunnell it's a place to put a rainbow. There are no limits in Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With Another Spoon—just fun and love. Jacinta Bunnell invites you to "Step right up!" to the wonderful world of you!"
—World Famous *BOB*, Ultimate Self Confidence! Coach
About the Author:
Jacinta Bunnell is an artist and writer living in New York's Hudson Valley where she enjoys makes coloring books for a gender-defiant new world. Jacinta is a rehabilitated and reformed cheerleader who now has pep rallies for all sorts of freaks.When Nat Kusinitz was in 6th grade he saw a painting of Frida Kahlo with all of her hair chopped off and was never the same again. He currently resides in New Orleans, where he spends his time riding the streetcar around and staring wistfully out of windows.
Girls are Not Chicks Coloring Book
Authors: Jacinta Bunnell and Julie Novak
Publisher: Reach And Teach / PM Press
Published: Sept. 2009
Page Count: 36
Dimensions: 8.5 by 11
Subjects: Children's Activity Book/ Feminism
Twenty-seven pages of feminist fun! This is a coloring book you will never outgrow. Girls Are Not Chicks is a subversive and playful way to examine how pervasive gender stereotypes are in every aspect of our lives. This book helps to deconstruct the homogeneity of gender expression in children's media by showing diverse pictures that reinforce positive gender roles for girls.
Color the Rapunzel for a new society. She now has power tools, a roll of duct tape, a Tina Turner album, and a bus pass!
Paint outside the lines with Miss Muffet as she tells that spider off and considers a career as an arachnologist!
Girls are not chicks. Girls are thinkers, creators, fighters, healers and superheroes.
"An ingeniously subversive coloring book." —Heather Findlay, Editor in Chief, Girlfriends magazine
"Get this cool feminist coloring book even if you don't have a kid" —Jane Pratt, Jane magazine
About the Authors:
Jacinta Bunnell is an artist and writer living in New York's Hudson Valley where she enjoys makes coloring books for a gender-defiant new world. Jacinta is a rehabilitated and reformed cheerleader who now has pep rallies for all sorts of freaks. She aspires to someday have friends like Jo Polniaczek from Facts of Life, Leroy Johnson from Fame,and Red Fraggle.
You can find her artwork at: www.parthenialoyal.etsy.com
Julie Novak is an actor, writer, musician, and artist who is committed to teaching tolerance. She believes that the wisdom of young people can change the world. She received her BS in Graphic Design from SUNY New Paltz, and is now serving as the art director for New York House Magazine, a publication focused on green living and sustainability. She contributed her design talents to the N.O.W. Foundation's "Love Your Body Day" campaign and helped plan SUNY New Paltz's first Transforming Feminism Conference. In 2006 she released a pop-punk CD with her band Guitars & Hearts which Bitch Magazine recommended in it's "suggested listening" column. Hear a sample at: www.myspace.com/guitarsandhearts She lives in New York's Hudson Valley where she works on musical projects and improvisational theater performances.
Abe in Arms
Author: Pegi Deitz Shea
Publisher: PM Press / Reach And Teach
Published June 2010
Page Count: 172 Pages
Size: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Fiction (recommended Grade 6 and up)
This contemporary young adult novel portrays the pressures of teens to live a normal life, let alone succeed at high levels; while facing mental illness and—in Abe's case—a past that no one could possibly understand . . . or survive.
Pegi Deitz Shea has written a suspenseful, action-filled book that will open teens' eyes and hearts to the lives of young people exposed to violence around the world.
"Pegi Shea’s book, Abe in Arms, although fictional in nature, could have been true for any number of young boys in West Africa whose lives were devastated by conscription into the rebel army through force, threats, manipulation, bribery, and drugs. As a counselor and member of a trauma team who went to Liberia to teach counseling skills to civic and religious leaders following their civil war, I found it very heart breaking to witness the long term effects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome upon the young boys, often no more than 11-14 years of age. Although there is a nation-wide effort in Liberia to rehabilitate these young boys, many require extensive mental health treatment and the prognoses are often disappointing. In her book, Pegi Shea engrosses us in the horrors of war, pulls at our heartstrings as we weep for Abe, and causes us to yearn for a time when he can confront the demons that control his life. At the same time, she explores the wrenching irony of war refugees being thrust into an American youth culture that glamorizes the very violence that has caused Abe so much anguish. Shea’s resolution, like Abe’s epiphany, is surprising, believable, and gratifying" —Eleanor Porter Pershing, PhD, West Africa Trauma Team
About the Author:
Pegi Deitz Shea is best known for exploring human rights issues in children's books. Pegi has brought the worlds of refugees, immigrants, child laborers, and historical figures into the minds of readers of all ages. Her books include The Whispering Cloth, Tangled Threads, Ten Mice for Tet, The Carpet Boy's Gift and Patience Wright. Her books have been made Notables by organizations including the International Reading Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, Bank Street College, Junior Library Guild and the New York Public Library. She has been teaching writing for the Institute of Children's Literature since 1996, and teaching children's literature at the University of Connecticut since 2007. Pegi has presented at more than 350 schools, libraries and conferences across the nation. Raised in New Jersey, Pegi lives in Connecticut with her family when she's not traipsing around the world.