Thursday, April 7, 2016

#AuthorApril: F is for Floyd Cooper #AtoZChallenge

Dear Kim,

Are you ready for our first picture book author in #AuthorApril? F is for Mr. Floyd Cooper.

Every time I say his name I picture him at my side whispering, "Call me Coop." He's said that to me half a dozen times and yet I still call him Mr. Floyd Cooper because his work calls for that level of respect!

Below Mr. Floyd Cooper's picture is an introduction that I wrote for a workshop called The Picture Book Academy. Mr. Floyd Cooper was one of our guest illustrators at the event.

F is for Mr. Floyd Cooper


That night my introduction read:

Mr. Floyd Cooper is a ridiculously talented illustrator. I will say ridiculously talented because damn, he is! 

[Show book covers and a few inside images. After the oohs and ahs settle continue.] 

He has won numerous awards. Though, in my humble opinion, not nearly enough for his genius. But that alone isn’t what makes him ridiculously talented, oh no. 

He is funny and caring. 
Modest and friendly. 
And he is one hell of a teacher. 

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mr. Floyd Cooper on a number of occasions and no matter your level of artistic talent, he will show you how to magically grow images from nothing. Please help me welcome this man of ridiculous talent, Mr. Floyd Cooper.

***Applause! Applause! Applause!***

And that night Mr. Floyd Cooper came to the front of the room and dazzled. 

With Mr. Floyd Cooper I always stop to share illustrations from at least three of his books, maybe more and I'm always greeted with the oohs and ahs mentioned above. Always. After he speaks the oohs and ahs soar louder. Always.

At the Foundation there is a room where only Mr. Floyd Cooper originals decorate the walls. It is my favorite room in the building. There is an illustration from Jump: From the Life of Michael Jordan  that I once tried to win at an auction. The bidding quickly grew too hefty for my purse, but at least I get to visit the character each time I go to The Highlights Foundation.

More powerful images are slated to come from Mr. Floyd Cooper's hands in January 2017. His layered technique paired with the late Walter Dean Myers' words will bring picture book GOLD. Since we can't ooh and ah over those images yet, let's delight in some of his available work.



Mr. Floyd Cooper Gallery





A Beach Tail, 2010


These Hands, 2011
If you follow this link and read the first note you will see images detailing Mr. Floyd Cooper's technique.


Max and the Tag-Along Moon, 2013


A Dance Like Starlight, 2014


Since F is for Mr. Floyd Cooper can we add on to this month's challenge? Clearly it's not just #AuthorApril but it is #IllustratorApril too!

Much Love,
Alison