Whoosh, best friends with Joseph even if he doesn’t know it, is coming back in a new picture book. A Feast for Joseph, a book I co-wrote with OD Bonny, is coming out with Groundwood Books. We’ve just seen artist Ken Daley’s roughs, what they call the illustrations before the art is finalized. With full stomachs after a feast where they brought their families together, Joseph and Whoosh are dancing under the moon. Ahhh. Ken drew Whoosh – below – sliding down the railing to Joseph who is trying to get a ride on her bike in Joseph’s Big Ride. (She finally lets him.)
OD and I met when he wrote a rap song for Viola (in The Good Braider). I love this book we’ve done together because with OD, it’s an Acholi story. OD says, this is me when I was growing up. He came to Portland from Kyangwali refugee camp in Uganda. Together we re-imagined Joseph as a small boy in Kyangwali before he came to Portland. We made discovery after discovery together about Joseph. For instance, in Kyangwali, he played the awal, a percussion instrument you hit with a wire comb. Our book first went to the art department at Groundwood where the art director did a rough layout. Now Ken Daly, who will do final art by the end of the year. Then printing in Asia. A Feast for Joseph arrives in 2021!