Katherine here, writing from Sotheby’s in London, where I’m on a very important mission: finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift for my mom. (And no, I’m not going to steal it. Stealing things is just my day job.)

It feels like I’ve been surrounded by a lot of beautiful art recently. There was that mission in Florence a couple weeks ago. And the May Day celebration at the Catherine Palace. And earlier this week, Ahna and I got to sit down with the magnificent children’s illustrator Floyd Cooper.

Floyd was visiting Grand Rapids to talk to schools and libraries about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. But Ahna and I had plenty of questions of our own, so we arranged a clandestine meeting with Floyd in between two of his lectures. (Spies will always take advantage of gaps in your schedule.)

When Ahna and I looked over the video that was issued to the public, we realized that some of the questions we asked Floyd were omitted. Luckily, Ahna had the original files tucked safely away, so here is the missing footage from our interview with Floyd.

Here, he talks about his process of working through artist’s block.

He also opened up about why he features African Americans in his picture books.

Floyd even discussed his sources of inspiration (while simultaneously giving us a book recommendation).

On behalf of everyone here at headquarters, I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to Floyd Cooper for being an invaluable asset and a wonderful guest. And now I really have to get back to this antique Chinese lotus bowl before someone outbids me.

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About Coffee Break Confidential:

This monthly column is where EBYR editorial assistant/vlogger/super spy Katherine Gibson divulges extra information from Coffee Break with EBYR that would otherwise be kept off the record. She’s researching topics related to children’s literature, posting her findings — and taking down some powerful militarized governments in the process. Just kidding about that last one. (Or are we?)