The team at Eerdmans Books for Young Readers is deeply saddened by the news of Floyd Cooper passing. We had the honor to meet and work with Floyd, who illustrated two of our EBYR titles, Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation and Mississippi Morning. He was an incredibly talented artist whose distinctive style was recognized throughout the children’s book industry—and he was also a delightful human being. He will be greatly missed throughout the children’s book industry.

“My mission, if you can call it that, is to connect with my readers on an emotional level and have them come away with a stronger impression of the basic message in the story I am illustrating.” —Floyd Cooper

Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation, written by Pat Sherman and Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

“In my journey to becoming an artist who writes, I tend to start my idea process with simple, concrete messages that relate to what kids may be experiencing as they navigate through childhood and adolescence putting together building blocks of the foundations on which they will become adults.” — Floyd Cooper

Mississippi Morning, written by Ruth Vander Zee and illustrated by Floyd Cooper