Archive for September 13th, 2021

by Sam Juliano

On July, 15, 2021 children’s literature lost one of its most renowned luminaries.  With nearly one-hundred books as an illustrator produced in a remarkably prolific career launched in 1988, African-American Floyd Cooper, who passed from cancer at age 65 was an author-artist who moved mountains in the book community and on social media where he was revered as a personable and humble man who exuded positive energy in the direction of any person fortunate enough to have crossed his path.  Cooper, who also had Native American blood was one of the most critically celebrated figures in the industry and his works won numerous awards for the Coretta Scott King, Golden Kite and Charlotte Zolotow committees.  Floyd has never won a Caldecott medal or honor citation in one om those freakish omissions usually attributed to timing and the depth of competition in a given year.  In the Caldecott Medal Contender series staged here at Wonders in the Dark since 2013, four of Cooper’s books have been reviewed in sponsorship of award consideration:  A Dance Like Starlight (authored by Kristy Dempsey); Where’s Rodney? (written by Carmen Bogan); The Ring Bearer and Juneteenth for Mazie.  But Cooper’s full catalog is one of the most impressive of artist in children’s literature, and virtually every book he’s released has its own fan base.  Of course his wife Velma, children Dayton and Kai and his grandchildren have suffered the most from his untimely departure, so for the legions who feel cheated of more masterpieces, matters do need to be placed in the proper perspective. (more…)

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