What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Elisha Cooper, Tao Nyeu, & Taeeun Yoo

h1 March 17th, 2017 by jules


— From Elisha Cooper’s Big Cat, Little Cat


 


— From Joyce Sidman’s Round, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
(Click to enlarge)


 


— From Kate McMullan’s Mama’s Kisses, illustrated by Tao Nyeu
(Click to enlarge)


 

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a bit of a Komako Sakai appreciation, given that she has two new illustrated books out this Spring.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Elisha Cooper’s Big Cat, Little Cat (Roaring Brook, March 2017); Joyce Sidman’s Round (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2017), illustrated by Taeeun Yoo; and Kate McMullan’s Mama’s Kisses (Dial, March 2017), illustrated by Tao Nyeu.

I’m following up with some art from each book today, and Elisha is here to tell us more about Big Cat, Little Cat.



 

From Big Cat, Little Cat:


 

Elisha: A few years ago, we got two kittens, and a year after that one of them died. My daughters were devastated. I was too — but less so. In an odd way, I was glad—wrong word, maybe—as it let me usher into my children’s lives the subject of loss and sadness, their first heartbreak. Within a month we got a new cat.

Growing up on a farm, I was surrounded by animals—cats, dogs, goats, cows—and they were often leaving us. Then, reappearing—again, maybe that’s the wrong word—as new animals. Life went on.

I wrote the first draft for Big Cat, Little Cat in a morning. It came out quick. I’m not one-hundred-percent sure, but I think this is that draft:

 


(Click to enlarge)


 

Then, I typed up the few words and edited them:

 


(Click to enlarge)


 

I met my editor at a café in the Flatiron district, sketched the dummy on a piece of paper in front of us, and told her the book. It wasn’t the most professional pitch.

I spent a few days drawing our two cats, following them around the apartment.

 


(Click to enlarge)


 

Then, I practiced painting with black ink, as I had never done that before. I knew I wanted the book to be spare, like the emotion that gave rise to it.

 


(Click to enlarge)


 


Elisha: “The art on the wall”
(Click to enlarge)


 


Elisha: “Our cats”
(Click to enlarge)


 


 


A final spread from the book: ” … who lived alone. Until the day …”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 


A final spread from the book: “And that was hard.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 


(Click to enlarge cover)


 

From Round:


 


“I love to watch round things move. They are so good at it! …”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 



(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


 


(Click to enlarge cover)


 

From Mama’s Kisses:


 


“They must be yawning. …”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“Babies, where are you? …”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“Come now, my redhead, / My tree-for-a-bed head …”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“Tip-toe, tip-toe …”
(Click to enlarge)


 


Final endpapers
(Click to enlarge)


 


(Click to enlarge cover)


 

* * * * * * *

BIG CAT, LITTLE CAT. Copyright © 2017 by Elisha Cooper. Published by Roaring Brook Press, New York. All images reproduced by permission of Elisha Cooper.

MAMA’S KISSES. Text copyright © 2017 by Kate McMullan. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Tao Nyeu. Illustrations reproduced by permission of Tao Nyeu and the publisher, Dial Books for Young Readers, New York.

ROUND. Text copyright © 2017 by Joyce Sidman. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Taeeun Yoo. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston.

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2 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Elisha Cooper, Tao Nyeu, & Taeeun Yoo”

  1. I love the idea of the simplicity of illustration and sparseness of words in Elisha Cooper’s BIG CAT LITTLE CAT. So much is left for the imagination and that, I believe, is a good thing especially for today’s kids who are bombarded with so much information.


  2. Hugs to all of the cats, and all of their humans.


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