When the laws are so unjust, misbehavior is a must!
Noodlephant (by Jacob Kramer and illustrated by K-Fai Steele) is a story about an elephant and her friends who band together to overthrow the kangaroos that run their town. It’s about who makes the rules, and who must break them. It’s about noodles and resistance, laws and lasagna.
Noodlephant shows us that laws are not set in stone; like pasta, laws are just another thing that people make.
Real social change always comes from the bottom up, when groups of people band together to exercise their collective will. When we read contemporary stories for children, few address questions of power—who has it, who suffers without it, and how to build it from nothing. We hope that Noodlephant offers children a generous, sustaining picture of the community, solidarity, mutual aid, and self-determination that will be required transform our societies. Noodlephant and her friends care about each other, and they also care about fairness for everyone. They learn when it’s okay to not be obedient, when it’s important to speak up for themselves and their community.
We came up with the idea for Noodlephant during the summer of 2016, when social movements against police brutality and massive inequality (Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders’ candidacy) were growing more visible and urgent. This is also one of the reasons that we’re donating part of the profits of Noodlephant to Black and Pink, an organization that connects incarcerated LGBTQ inmates with people on the outside, while working toward prison abolition.
We also really love writing and drawing together! We make each other laugh a lot, and we’ve found a lot of joy—and hope—in our collaboration. We can’t wait to share it with you.
Noodlephant is being published by Enchanted Lion Books in February 2019. We launched it at ALA Midwinter and drove down the west coast for a three week book tour visiting schools, indie bookstores, public libraries, and community spaces. We talked about our book and how it ties in to organizing for change. We’d love to visit your classroom!