Hard Ball Press, in collaboration with children’s book author Mark Torres, has donated 200 bilingual children’s books to the Puerto Rico Teachers Federation (FMPR). The seven titles, all picture books for young children, explore the kinds of social justice themes that families in Puerto Rico face every day, including fair wages (Joelito’s Big Decision, Jimmy’s Carwash Adventure), indigenous people’s rights and culture (Margarito’s Forest), gender equality (Hats Off For Gabbie!), and economic inequality (The Cabbage That Came Back). Mark’s book, Good Guy Jake teaches children how a union fights to reinstate a sanitation worker unfairly fired for taking toys from the trash that he repaired and gave to children in a local shelter for Christmas.
With so many books destroyed by the hurricane, the children in many schools in the San Juan area have enjoyed the books, including teenage students with learning disabilities. Hard Ball Press will be donating copies of all new children’s books as they come into print.
Hard Ball Press has published two new children’s books you may want to consider for holiday gift-giving and your own pleasure. Both are available in English and Spanish. The Cabbage that Came Back / El Repollo que Volvio by Steven Pearl and illustrated by Rafael Pearl tells a wonderful children’s fable about sharing. Margarito’s Forest / El Bosque de Don Margarito by Andy Carter and illustrated by Allison Havens tells a story of how the ways of the Maya, faced with the deforesting effects of climate change, offering timely wisdom for a planet in peril.
Hard Ball Press, whose editor is WCSA stalwart Tim Sheard, has published an unusual collection of essays and photography by American union workers of all varieties – musicians, laborers, teachers, journalists, auto workers, nurses, a ballet dancer, a West Virginia coal miner, and filmmaker John Sayles, among many others. Titled We Are One: Stories of work, life, and love, each photo essay examines the author’s workplace, life events and ideas about success. See this and other Hard Ball books here.