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About the Author
Floyd Cooper received a Coretta Scott King Award for his illustrations in The Blacker the Berry and a Coretta Scott King Honor for Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea and I Have Heard of a Land. Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Cooper received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma and, after graduating, worked as an artist for a major greeting card company. In 1984, he came to New York City to pursue a career as an illustrator of books, and he now lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, with his wife and children.
From Kirkus (starred review): Combining the amazement offered by the natural world with an unconventional and poignant dose of social commentary, this story gives more to its readers than what meets the eye.
From San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 2017: Here, an Oakland author writes with clear purpose about the transformative power of nature. . . where Rodney comes to understand what "majestic" really does mean. . . . Dusky, soft-focused paintings chronicle his journey of discovery (and self-discovery) with a final note that encourages kids to get out on their own or through nonprofits that promote environmental education.
From Midwest Book Review Extraordinary, entertaining, and original, "Where's Rodney?" is very highly recommended for children ages 4 to 8, and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.
From School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2. The small boy's world is greatly enlarged by his unexpected joyful experience. Readers are left to hope that this is just the first of many eye-opening, and perhaps life-changing, adventures for the boy. VERDICT A lovely book to share one-on-one or with a class preparing for an outing. --Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI (c) Copyright 2017.
CCBC Book of the Week, July 10, 2017: Rodney, a Black child in a diverse, contemporary classroom, is experiencing nature on a scale both grand and intimate at the center of this buoyant yet contemplative picture book with illustrations that reflect both the changing physical landscape and emotional range of the story as Rodney discovers that "outdoors" can not only be "majestic," but peaceful, too. (c)2017 Cooperative Children's Book Center
From Publishers Weekly In hazy scenes that glow with warmth, Cooper (Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History) pays homage to the dramatic landscape of the unnamed park, but the focus of his images and Bogan's understated writing is on Rodney, and how he finally has the freedom to investigate nature intimately and on his own terms. It's a stirring reminder of the importance of access to nature, and how rare that access is for many children. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
From Foreword Reviews Rodney simply cannot pay attention to his teacher while an open window beckons him to go outside, in Carmen Bogan's Where's Rodney? A city boy unused to the great outdoors, Rodney is awed and enchanted when a field trip takes him to a majestic park where he can finally be free to explore the wonders of nature, honored through beautifully depicted scenery and expressive portraiture from Floyd Cooper, all in soothing and dreamy textured earth tones.