Floyd Cooper has illustrated nearly 100 books for children, including The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas, for which he won the 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. His books have also garnered three Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors, two NAACP Image Award nominations, a Jane Addams Peace Award Honor, the 2011 Simon Wiesenthal Gold Medal, and the 2011 IPPY Gold Medal. His most recent book is Juneteenth for Mazie (Capstone, February), which he both wrote and illustrated. Born in Tulsa, Okla., he lives with his family in Easton, Pa.
On your nightstand now:
On my nightstand now is a piece of Halloween chocolate, a bottle of Evian, a large.... Oh, the book is Arnold Rampersad's The Life of Langston Hughes Volume I: 1902-1941, "I Too, Sing America."
Favorite book when you were a child:
My favorite book as a child was a Little Golden Book about a little red fire engine, can't recall the title.
Your top five authors:
Joyce Carol Thomas, Jackie Woodson, Walter Dean Myers, Virginia Hamilton, Maya Angelou.
Book you've faked reading:
Faked? FAKED?!! I'm almost appalled, but not quite.
Book you're an evangelist for:
I am really high on Jackie Woodson's picture book Show Way.
Book you've bought for the cover:
I have been a fanatical magazine collector for years, for the covers! No, really... it's only for the covers!
Book that changed your life:
The book that changed my life was The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas [illustrated by Floyd Cooper]. It won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.
Favorite line from a book:
In the picture book Be Good to Eddie Lee by Virginia Fleming, when Eddie stands by the pond, puts his hand over his heart and looks Christy in the eyes and says, "It's what's here that counts!" Still gets me!
The five artists you most admire:
Jerry Pinkney, Paul O. Zelinsky, Bernie Fuchs, Etienne Delessert, John Collier.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
That Little Golden Book about the little red fire truck.