I cut my political teeth on United Farm Worker grape boycotts in California's San Joaquin Valley. The flip side to boycotts is informed elective patronage: forgoing a pre-stamped burger for Ethiopian fare and buying gifts from local artisans come to mind. Books represent another important economic leverage opportunity.
Merger mania has hit publishing, with a concurrent loss of both art and idea. But small publishers exist continue to produce good books. My biases are a predilection for poetry and writing that sing off the page, graceful art depicting a rainbow of families, and stories that serve as a warp and woof in weaving together a fragile world. Following are some of the brightest lights in children's publishing.
Plough Publishing House of the Society of Brothers. Bring the rich tradition of family singing into your home with two anthologies of songs: Sing Through the Seasons and Sing Through the Day. Plough has many resources for families, each marked by quiet beauty and joyful reverence. (412) 329-1100.
Liturgy Training Publications. LTP produces a number of liturgy and worship aids for children, perfect for use in the home. The art and graphics are first-rate, with Gail Ramshaw's Sunday Morning notable for its whimsical and multicultural pictorial Bible stories. Parents will appreciate the classic The Religious Potential of the Child: Experiencing Scripture and Liturgy With Young Children. (800) 933-1800.
Kane/Miller Books. Founded by a brother and sister, K/M scans the world for books and translates them into English. Reading books by Venezuelan, Japanese, and European authors amounts to a primordial multiculturalism. K/M has many English-Spanish editions and an outstanding international folk tales series. (718) 624-5120.