“Pigeon and Cat don’t have much, but what they do have matters more to them than any material possessions. Friendship. Creativity. Love.”
I have the luck to know Eddie Hemingway, author and illustrator, who lives in Bozeman MT, my home town. And the luck to see F&Gs of his newest picture book, PIGEON & CAT (Christy Ottaviano Books at Little, Brown Young Readers) out as of 6/21/22! I asked Eddie to give readers answers to a few questions, and I do hope you’ll run right out and find this gorgeous, fun new read.
Can you give readers a quick synopsis of Pigeon & Cat?
I’d love to. It’s the story of a scared and lonely stray cat that rescues a tiny egg and befriends the pigeon who hatches out of it. Cat’s small act of kindness ultimately opens up his life to the world around him, and together the unlikely duo transforms the community in which they live into a better place for everyone.
I love that this story addresses friendship between two unlikely characters. Tell us about their relationship and what it means to you.
It probably goes without saying that Pigeon and Cat’s relationship is at the core of “Pigeon & Cat”. I feel it represents a certain kind of friendship that we’ve all experienced- that of two opposites who compliment each other and make each other better beings. They also don’t speak the exact same language, but nonetheless understand each other implicitly.
I’m also completely in love with the kind of compassion you are illustrating through Cat’s living situation. (Our two books share the same category.) Where does that come from for you?
Houselessness is a very real problem for many in this world. I know how lucky and privileged I’ve been to always have had a roof over my head, but I also know that many have not been as fortunate.
It’s so important for me in my work to give kids stories to read that open up their minds and hearts and gently show them things that perhaps they haven’t been exposed to. “Pigeon & Cat” shows kids that houseless strays are ultimately deep down like everyone else, and that they have just as much value and potential within any given community as everyone else in that community. And in the case of these two unlikely friends, their friendship is what moves them forward on such a positive trajectory. Pigeon and Cat don’t have much, but what they do have matters more to them than any material possessions. Friendship. Creativity. Love. I aspire to live my life in a similar fashion.
I love that SO much. And I’m with you. The illustrations are just fabulous. You used to live in the city, right? Is this an ode to city life?
The book is definitely an ode to city life! Although the city depicted in the book is not New York specifically, it is inspired by my time in Brooklyn and is also the first picture book I’ve done that takes place in a very urban environment. I’m delighted you like the illustrations. I had a lot of fun making all the artwork for the book. I experimented with dripping paint and creating textures with sponges, rollers, and different brushes. And since I love cut paper, I made the silhouette images from hand cut black paper which I then adhered onto the painted panels. When all the paintings were done, I scanned them into photoshop and would often make little adjustments in order to achieve the perfect image that I wanted.
And now you live here in Bozeman! Has that been a good place for you to settle?
Absolutely! My husband and I love it here. There is so much physical beauty in Montana. And I never get tired of the mountains and big sky.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just THANKS SO MUCH for sharing my book birthday with your readers, Janet! I really appreciate it.
More About PIGEON & CAT
Attend the book launch event! Super fun!