We want to inspire today's children and parents
to change the world today and shape a better tomorrow.
We make books that inspire children to question the adults and world around them; to feel empathy towards all humans; to understand the climate emergency; to understand the value of organizing and cooperation, and to give them the tools they will need to change the world.
Our core values
Every time you open a book by ACB, you can be sure it has our core values at the heart of each story.
Fun: “If I can’t dance I don’t want to be in your revolution” Emma Goldman. Children deserve to have fun and be happy, even if they inherit a violent and catastrophic world. We are not at Sunday School. We want children, parents, and everyone to have fun, feel inspired, empowered, and full of purpose and energy.
Community: In a hyper-individualistic, consumerist and egotistical world we believe it is necessary to stress the importance of community.
Organization: Oppressive governments, the ruling 1%, and destructive industries unite their economic and political power to control and exploit humans and nature. Millions of activists working alone can never stop and overthrow them. We need to organize and we need to learn how to do so from childhood.
Ecology: The world is near a climate catastrophe that most likely will wipe out today’s world’s civilization, and will, as always, hurt the most vulnerable people foremost. We, adults, need to stop it; but even if we do, it will most likely be a delay and not a real and total stop. We need to fight today, and make sure our children grow up understanding the imminent threat and the need to change our civilization’s destructive consumerist ways.
Freedom: The governments and the 1% decide everything for us; they exploit and oppress us while saying we are free because we voted to give power to a politician; because we choose which company to work for; or because we chose which product to buy. We need to talk to children about real freedom, the freedom to shape the world, to decide the world and society in which we want to live, the freedom to have free time and to have fun, the freedom to dissent, the freedom to build a life project.
Empathy: Empathy has been a core value for children’s books and traditional family values; but they usually consider empathy as applying to the person’s inner circle - empathy towards friends, family, and schoolmates. We need to show children how to be empathic towards every single human being alive, especially towards those who look the most different from us.
Solidarity: Learning about feeling empathy towards others is good, but not enough; if we want to change the world, we need action. We need to learn how to act in solidarity with our fellow humans.
Direct Action: In a world where posting on social media and voting is deemed an activist action, we need to show the younger generation roadmaps to real change. Show them the importance of helping others directly and how they can engage with the world around them to change laws and governments.
Social Justice: Justice is not a matter of following the law, preserving “order” or perpetuating the established Status Quo; A social justice perspective understands that powerful, self-interested, biased, and elitist people make laws to protect and promote their interests. Justice for everyone usually means striping away the privileges of the rich and powerful. Our social justice perspective contrasts laws and government against justice.
Feminism: Every Activist Children’s Book has to have a feminist perspective. We call out the “Macho-centered world”, the “Male Supremacy” ideology that has impregnated every aspect of our culture and we fight it with examples. Strong girls or women who stand in solidarity with the oppressed, or who break stereotypes.
Anti-racist: Much of today’s staggering inequalities, explorations, and oppression are deemed natural, and self-evident when they are directed towards indigenous, brown, black, and Asian people. From international wars, unfair economic deals, extracting industries owned by the global north that destroy the global south, to mistreatment by police, wage, and opportunities gap and systemic racism embedded in our laws and government institutions. If we destroy racism, we destroy one of the main reasons people accept oppression, violence, and inequality as normal.
Decolonization: We live in the neocolonial age where European nations, and the USA hold most of the world hostage through international financial institutions, unbalanced trade deals, political and military intervention and cultural supremacy. We aim to show and promote the world outside of the Eurocentric Cultural Hegemony. We talk to children in the USA and Europe so that tomorrow they will stop their countries’ colonial actions. We talk to children in the colonized world so that they will not grow up idolizing their colonizers, and hope they will strive for a free, just, and diverse world.
Anti-capitalist: Capitalism is destroying the earth, exploiting humans, and generating an epidemic of depression and loneliness. Fulled by the advertisement and entertainment industries, capitalism breeds a consumer-worker in each person. We strive to generate meaning outside of consumerism; to show the coercive, and destructive forces of capitalism and promote community, activism, and organization as antidotes.
Diverse and anti-hegemonic culture and beauty standards: Oppressive, colonizing and hegemonic beauty standards have traumatized so many women and men of past generations that we need to make sure we stop it as soon as possible. We aim to show children the beauty in diversity and the subjectivity in the idea of beauty.
Power dynamics: In a world where the powerful use every communication and manipulation trick at their disposal to make the oppressed believe they are free, we need people to understand, detect, and navigate power dynamics. We aim to help children understand what power means, how to identify it, and how to confront it.
About the coop
We are a worker-owned, democratically run cooperative.
Every book is its own cooperative, where everyone in the team that worked on that book is an owner and has a right to the revenue the book will generate forever.
Some people work on all the books, others work on one or two. Team members propose and accept new team members by consensus; everyone votes to decide the percentages of revenue assigned to each worker.
If you want to know more about how our coop
works, click here.
If you want to join the team for one or more
projects or you want to propose a new book,
How we started
This project started in México by writer, Bernardo De Urquidi, editor Lorenza Garza and illustrator Andrea Ruiz. After investigating the markets, distribution options, and investment requirements, the team decided to publish the first books in English. We are hoping that by distributing to the USA, Canada, and Europe, we will be able to make a good enough revenue that will permit us to dedicate more time and energy towards publishing new books in more languages.
After deciding this we saw the necessity to ad another professional english native editor to our team. After a long search and many interviews we invited Euan Monaghan to join the team. Euan decided to join the team pro-bono, and donate his share of the revenue generated by the books to reinvest in the coop.
Everyone on the team has another full-time job right now, we are hoping that once the books start selling we can dedicate more time to bringing new books to life.
If you want to donate and help us dedicate more time to the development of Activist Children's Books, click here.
If you are an illustrator, an English language editor or a publicist and would like to work with us on one, or more books, click here.