Sybilla A. Cook

My latest book is a biography about Berta and Elmer Hader, Caldecott winning author/illustrators of the 20th century, entitled Drawn Together. Their work is represented in the major children book collections. Mary Margaret McBride, the Oprah of the 1930s, once said, “When I tell people about the Haders, they think they’re a figment of my imagination.” Their humor and creativity led to lifelong friendships with their editors and other luminaries: Imogen Cunningham, Bessie Beatty, Rose Wilder Lane, and Katherine Anne Porter. Their everyday lives exemplify the timeless themes of love, respect, hard work, passion for art and nature, and active conservation. Click on the Drawn Together tab for more about these wonderful people.

My latest “gig” was at the Eugene (Oregon) Public Library on July 17th, 2014. I joined in with Joy Rich, Karen Tolley, and John and Judy Waller; the authors of Berta and Elmer Hader, A Lifetime of Art, which just received the Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal Award. It's a full-color book showing and commenting on their art, ranging from Berta’s miniature portraits to Elmer’s impressionistic paintings, and of course all the charming illustrations in their children’s books. My new book on Berta and Elmer Hader, Drawn Together, is far more about their actual lives, and I am finding them fascinating. They were happily married, were surrounded by talented friends who helped them build their own house on a hill, fought to save their neighborhood from demolition, and adapted to the myriad changes in publishing and in life. 

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