A great loss for children's literature

November 1, 2021
Kelly L Roll
Cover of In Plain Sight

This year has seen the loss of two great illustrators. Earlier this year the kid lit industry suffered the loss of Floyd Cooper.  Floyd Cooper explored the African-American experience through the lens of history. Through his work he hoped to recount pieces of history that were either not taught or barely taught.    He certainly achieved that with his most recent work -  Unspeakable : the Tulsa Race Massacre.  He also created affirmative  illustrations in books like The Blacker the Berry, a 2009 Coretta Scott King illustrator award winner. He worked with a variety of authors including Walter Dean Myers, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Jaqueline Woodson. He also authored some of his own works.  See works by Floyd Cooper in Education Library collection.

Just last month we lost a second great illustrator. Jerry Pinkney illustrated over 100 books. He authored and illustrated numerous works ranging from classic fables to novels. He won the Caldecott Medal for The Lion and the Mouse in 2010 and has been the recipient of many honors and won the Virginia Hamilton lifetime award in 2016.  We love all his work, but perhaps this library staff person’s favorite book though was his book entitled In Plain Sight. Everything about the book, from the little girl standing next to her grandfather to the outside street scenes is exquisitely detailed, the story itself is charming and warmth flows off the page. Mr. Pinkney mentored many others including his son who is also a children’s book illustrator. See works by Jerry Pinkney in Stanford collections.


Kelly Roll

Kelly L Roll

Operations Manager Cubberley Education Library