What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Elisha Cooper

h1 June 15th, 2012 by jules


Clouds sketch


Final spread
Elisha: “This spread was supposed to reference that great illustration in
Blueberries for Sal where, halfway through the book, you see where everyone is.”
(Click to enlarge)

I was a little busy at Kirkus this week.

Yesterday, I chatted with Sam Arthur, the Director of London-based Nobrow Press—whose books are now being distributed stateside by Consortium—about their beautifully-crafted comics, illustrated books, and children’s books. That Q & A is here. Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some images from some of their newer offerings.

Today, I write about the massively good (bad pun intended) Hippopposites by Janik Coat. This is the best board book for children I’ve seen all year. That link is here this morning.

* * *

Last week at Kirkus, I chatted with author/illustrator Elisha Cooper about his newest picture book, Homer. Have you seen Homer? Oh, you must. Here is that Q & A, if you missed it last week and are so inclined to read it now.

For more on Homer, you won’t want to miss this post from Elisha over at Greenwillow’s blog, Under the Green Willow, as well as the follow-up post here. Here’s an excerpt from that first post:

I read somewhere that all stories have one of two plots: man leaves town, or, man comes to town. That’s it. I was thinking about this a few years ago while looking through Kevin Henkes’s Kitten’s First Full Moon, which, in its perfect simplicity, captures the man-leaves-town plot exactly, except that in this case the man is a kitten.

I started wondering, what if I reversed this? What if the “man” doesn’t leave town, or come to town, but stays right there in town and everything comes to him?

Today I have some more art from Homer, including early sketches — and images related to the book. (Wanna see a pic of the real Homer? Read on.)

Enjoy.

* * *


Elisha: “Here I am, late ’70s, I bet (check out the socks)
with our dog Homer on our farm.”


Elisha: “…a sketch of my parents’ old dog…”


Rough sketch


Dummy layout of the same spread



Finished spread
(Click either image to see spread as it’s laid out in the book)


Cover (click to enlarge)

Elisha also noted in my Q & A that he’s been painting six huge canvases for the children’s room at the Jefferson Market Library — in the Village, that is, in New York and far, far from me here near Nashville. I wish I could see them in person. But he sent these images, and they’ll have to do for this Southerner.


Ocean canvas


Africa canvas

* * * * * * *

HOMER. Copyright © 2012 by Elisha Cooper. Published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, New York. All images here reproduced with permission of Elisha Cooper.

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5 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Elisha Cooper”

  1. Wonderful! We’re definitely adding HOMER to our book nook!!


  2. Thanks for this peek at some of Mr. Cooper’s sketches! “Homer” reminds me of one of his earlier books, “Magic Thinks Big”–about a big ‘ol stripey cat. His characters are so straightforward, gentle and beguiling…I just love his work. Oh, and he can draw sky and clouds like nobody’s business (“Beach” and “A Good Night Walk”)! Looking at some of these illustrations from “Homer” makes me feel like I’m on summer vacation :) Also, “Hippopposites” = :-D


  3. We are so in love with this book!! Can’t wait to show the girls the ‘real’ Homer.


  4. Homer! Can’t wait for this book. And being such a fan of ‘Blueberries for Sal’ I loved that illustration at the beginning where she said, “This spread was supposed to reference that great illustration in
    Blueberries for Sal where, halfway through the book, you see where everyone is.”
    Thanks, as always.


  5. Sorry, Mr. Cooper, missed that it said ‘he’ not ‘she’.


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