A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Through powerful, educational illustrations and accessible text -- "the Artivist is an ally" -- the The Artivist informs the youngest readers about social justice issues the world is facing.
Inspire the change you want to see in the world. There is always hope for a better tomorrow. You're never too young to become an activist.
Positive Role Models
The main character is a young African American boy who is creative, hopeful, intelligent, and compassionate. Those in the community around him eventually support his change-orientated vision for a more positive future.
The book's illustrations include people of various races, skin tones, ages, socioeconomic statuses, and religions. The incarcerated and unhoused population are depicted. The book recognizes the LGBQT community, as well as those who are disabled.
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Violence & Scariness
There is imagery of police officers in riot gear, a prisoner locked in a cell, pollution, and people who are unhoused. The term, "gun violence" also appears on protestors' signs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Artivist is the debut picture-book from The New York Times bestselling illustrator, Nikkolas Smith (The 1619 Project: Born on the Water). The author-illustrator's work was inspired by his own journey to becoming an activist through art. Nikkolas Smith's stunning paintings tell a profound story that will inspire children to create change in the world around them. Themes of the book include activism against injustice, compassion, and working together as a community. Nothing explicitly violent is shown, but children may be unsettled or confused by the imagery of police officers in riot gear, a prisoner locked in a cell, pollution, and people who are unhoused. This impactful story will likely leave young readers with lots of important questions and fired up for change.
Is It Any Good?
This stunning picture book offers young children and adults a special opportunity to engage in a meaningful reading experience around important social justice issues. The Artivist is brought to life by Nikkolas Smith's remarkable work as both an author and an artist. The painted illustrations gently push gentrification, environmental negligence, and social injustice to the fore, in a way young readers can understand.
The character strengths of compassion, empathy, and courage make the young African American boy, who serves as the main character of the story, a very positive role model. Readers, young and old alike, can see themselves among the diverse characters in the book. Everyone will be inspired to use their own talents to work for change in the world around them.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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