From Caldecott Honor author/illustrator Elisha Cooper comes Yes & No, a timeless tale of friendship, adjusting your perspective, and the joys (and trials) of siblinghood.
Good morning, good morning. It’s time to wake up!
Join a cat and puppy pair through their day—the ups of being fed and romping through grass, and the downs of days that are too short and things that don’t go as planned—as they realize that sometimes the very best thing that can happen is just being together. Take a look inside the book here!
★ We’re celebrating Five Starred Reviews for YES & NO ! ★
Q&A with Elisha Cooper about YES & NO:
Q: Yes & No shares a similar style to your Caldecott Honor winning Big Cat, Little Cat. Did you intend to write this as a companion or did it come about naturally? (1000 characters or less)
Elisha Cooper: The answer to that is, well, yes and no. “Yes” in that I loved painting Big Cat, Little Cat in simple black-and-white ink – a style I hoped would underscore the quiet story of losing a family pet – so I wanted to paint this new book similarly to get the same simple feelings. But “no” in that Yes & No is a completely different story. One rambunctious puppy, his imperious cat friend, the adventures they have during their day together. It’s a lighter, brighter story, so I added a watercolor wash over the black-and-white line. But I suppose there are parallels to the books, because a certain sadness creeps in for our characters (the puppy doesn’t want the day to end!), before we are given a quiet resolution, a last reveal. So combining these styles – bold black-and-white, and boisterous color – I hoped to reflect that complexity. It felt like I was discovering a new style!
Q: Yes & No features two gorgeously illustrated wordless spreads. Tell us about your decision to include those pages.
Elisha: There are three wordless spreads in Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, where Max cavorts with the wild things in their wild rumpus. It’s a wonderful pause in the last third of the book; I hoped for the same in mine. What wordless spreads do is slow us down, slow the reader down, almost make us take space to breathe. The puppy and cat are doing the same: finding a place on a hill, to breathe and watch the world. Maybe it’s their quiet rumpus? These pages are the heart of the book.
Q: What do you hope readers (young and old) take away from Yes & No?
Elisha: I hope that readers will find the meaning of life, which I helpfully painted onto page 22. Ha, I’m joking! But I do hope that Yes & No will make readers, young and old, smile. Both in their recognition of this enthusiastic puppy – he gets in trouble, he wants so much. And also in how he ventures out into the world with his friend, and discovers some important things, before coming safely home. I think that’s what we’re all looking for right now. Discovery, peace. That’s my hope with this book.