Philadelphia is a small but powerful city with writers whose words captivate the entire globe. This city honors its writers for their literary contribution through praise and worship, exhibits at the Museum of Black Writers, and if you are truly loved, an entire day dedicated to your life and memory.
Starting this year, the Children’s Book Council, “Every Child is a Reader” and their partners recognize May 6 as Floyd Cooper’s Day. The annual celebration will celebrate the life and legacy of the late illustrator, who paved the way for many in the children’s literature community.
“It’s original,” said Vanessa Lloyd-Sgambati, founder of the African-American Children’s Book Project. “That he is a black man [and] that nationwide children from four corners of the United States will celebrate his books and works. And I mean all his books. This is essential. Because it means that people will be able to learn black history through its prism. “
Lives near Philly in Easton, Pennsylvania. Cooper was a renowned artist who focused his talents on the younger generation through children’s stories. With more than 30 years of career and more than 100 works behind him, Cooper has established himself as an illustrator whose work has captivated audiences across the United States, and many have come together to shed light on what he has achieved.
“As more than 100 of Floyd Cooper’s books have been distributed to a dozen publishers, his friends have come together to preserve his legacy by paying a special tribute to Jan. 7, and then we decided to add a day in his honor during Children’s Book Week. It just felt like it was the right place and time for students, teachers and librarians to come together to discuss his beautiful words and art, and watch any of the 11 videos created by his friends reading from his books. ” says Karl Lenertz, executive director of the Children’s Book Council and every child reader.
In Floyd’s work, he turned to historical events such as Jim Crow, the Juntins, the Tulsa Massacre, and Segregation to paint a picture of the United States for a younger audience. He did not shy away from these subjects and did not shy away from them – he made them enjoyable for children and continued to go beyond the expectations of what children’s literature can achieve.
“He takes a historical event and captures that event. Although [these] these are sensitive topics as he illustrated [them] it’s still fun to read. And any parent would feel comfortable. It tells these stories to transport you across the full spectrum of black history for children, and these children’s books are the best way to explore black history. ” Said Lloyd-Sgambati.
After dying at the age of 65 in 2021, his friends, publishers and readers wanted to find a way to raise the illustrator’s legacy.
Children’s Book Week is held in Philae and almost every city from May 2 to 8.
“Children’s Book Week is the longest national children’s book festival. Founded in 1919, every year in May, schools and libraries celebrate the joy of reading on the theme of each year, ”says Lenerz.
This year’s theme: “How to book? The holiday event, dedicated to engaging children in reading, also provides schools with free materials in support of teachers and school libraries. Children who run across the country in nearly 2,000 schools will be encouraged to pick up a book and start reading. More specifically, Floyd Cooper’s book: “This year we include Floyd Cooper’s Day in celebrating the work of a lifetime about finding equality and joy where it can be found.” Says Lenerz.
“Children’s Book Week is important because we need to make sure our children read. We need to make sure we have books at home. You can’t open a child’s life beyond what he learned in school when it’s new books in the house. ” Says Lloyd-Sgambati.
To learn more about how you can attend Children’s Book Week, or learn how you can support Floyd’s legacy, visit The African American Book Project website at theafricanamericanchildrensbookproject.org.
You can also call their Literary Hotline (215)878-BOOK for more information.