CelebritiesPublishers Weekly

Four Questions for Raffi

Canadian composer and songster Raffi started winning over the hearts of children and their parents in the 1970s, with live performances and recordings of his buoyant, impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head songs. Think (and start to hum at your own risk) Baby Beluga, Wheels on the Bus, and Down by the Bay. In the late ’80s, Knopf began publishing hardcover and trade paperback picture books featuring Raffi’s lyrics, and issued board-book editions of some of the titles a decade later. Last June, the publisher launched a new crop of Raffi board books with Shake My Sillies Out, illustrated by Maple Lam. This year’s releases include three books that have never appeared in board-book format, beginning with Everything Grows, illustrated by Nina Mata, scheduled for April release (to coincide with Earth Day). Raffi’s Rise and Shine, illustrated by Jaime Kim, will follow in May; and Thanks a Lot, with art by Sydney Hanson, is due in September. PW spoke with Raffi about his new wave of board books, and about the Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring, which is dedicated to creating a humane and sustainable world by addressing the universal needs of children.
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For Some Viewers, Raffi's Story is All Too Familiar

Throughout 2020 we witnessed continuous protests, in America and around the world, over the treatment and disenfranchisement of Black people, ignited by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis along with other tragic incidents. A large amount of the protesting we’ve seen has ties to those at the forefront of organizing, protesting and advocating for societal change – Black women.
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