Don't Feed the Coos by Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox

Happy Monday from rainy New York City! I spotted many pigeons over the weekend, which made me think of Don't Feed the Coos by Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox. Jonathan and Heather stopped by to chat with me about pigeons and picture books. I wrote the words in purple, Jonathan wrote the words in black, and Heather wrote the words in green. Thank you, Jonathan and Heather! 

Don’t Feed the Coos’ cover illustration is delightfully zany and fun! It’s the type of cover that would have drawn the attention of me if I was a kid. I love the comic menace of the coos staring wide-eyed at the reader and completely surrounding our protagonist. Heather and our team at Macmillan did such a great job capturing the whimsy and drama of the story! 

Don’t Feed the Coos tells the story of a young girl who feeds a pigeon (right as she’s warned not to by the narrator) and the repercussions of her mistake. I guess it’s like the antithesis to the song Feed the Birds (which I love).

Pigeons are amazing! They’re one of my favorite birds, I could sit and watch them all afternoon. They’re hilarious and the way they bob about always makes me smile… but they’re also really beautiful! Their feather coloring and detail is gorgeous, and there are so many different varieties. Pigeons don’t get enough love.

Picture books are a way to bring us together. They are such an amazing form of storytelling because they’re a celebration of art and the written word and the spoken word. I think that last one is especially key and helps set them a part from other forms of story. Picture books are meant to be shared. Read aloud. Whether it’s a parent to their child, a librarian to a hungry young reader, a teacher to their student, or a child to their sibling(s), picture books connect all ages— they let us learn, laugh, cry, and discover together. In a world that is constantly pushing towards digital content and online interaction, there is something so beautiful about sitting on a bed in the quiet of night, or library bean bags on a sunny day, and just enjoying a story with other people. That’s incredible and very human.

Jonathan’s manuscript for Don’t Feed the Coos makes me laugh every time I read it! Jonathan has such clever, silly humor in his writing. One of my favorite aspects about my working relationship with Jonathan is that I get to witness how the manuscript changes and evolves every step of the way. This one had a completely different ending when we first started to work on it! But, I’m happy to say, it ends quite perfectly. 

The illustrations for Don't Feed the Coos were SO fun to work on! Going into this book, I knew I wanted to play with my style and push myself outside of my comfort zone. I found that I was really inspired by mid-century modern cartoons! The sharp lines and geometry and the bright, contrasting colors were all things that I hoped to encapsulate in this book. I think the colors are my favorite things about my illustrations!

On February 25, 2020, you will learn what will happen if you feed a pigeon. They’re cute and adorable creatures, but when you feed one cooing pigeon, you’re sure to encounter many more in just a matter of seconds. Don’t feed the coos!

Picture books are beautiful treasures. To know just how much work goes into creating one book makes each and every book extremely special. They’re kind of like people! They come in different sizes and colors, they’re filled with stories and journeys that define the narrative, and they can help other people feel emotions, learn, and grow. They’re wonderful pieces of expression! I have a special collection of my favorite picture books, and it brings me so much joy to have books to go to when I need inspiration (or just a good laugh!).

Look for Don't Feed the Coos! on February 20, 2020.

The dynamic team behind Llama Destroys the World returns with a laugh-out-loud tale about the dangers…of feeding pigeons!

When you see a coo, you will be tempted to give it a treat.
Coos are adorable, peaceful, kind of silly.
If you feed one, they will ALL come...

So begins Don't Feed the Coos, a cautionary tale that details the fallout when a little girl decides to share some bread with a coo (aka pigeon). From the park to home to the arcade to karate practice, the coos follow the generous-but-foolish girl who didn’t heed the warning. Because when you give a coo a crumb…the entire population of coos will come! But fret not: our spunky little heroine will discover that even the biggest of problems can be solved with a little determination.

In the grand tradition of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Don't Feed the Coos reminds us that the most disastrous of reactions can come from the most innocent of actions. Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox deliver another ridiculous and hilarious story, sure to delight fans of The Bad Seed and I Want My Hat Back.


Popular Posts