Wisdom of the Ages
From Sarah Hampson, author of Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Project
You could say that writer Sarah Hampson, 60, lived a Mad Men existence, beginning her career with “words” in advertising, where she came up with creative ideas for the likes of Dentyne, Heinz ketchup and Pot of Gold chocolates. After the birth of her third son, she quit and reinvented herself as an award-winning journalist and, in 2010, she wrote a best-selling memoir, Happily Ever After Marriage: A Reinvention in Mid-life.
Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Protest is her debut children’s picture book. Inspired by a series of beautiful photographs of New York pigeons that she happened to see online, the story features a wise old bird, Dr. Coo, who helps his fellow pigeons regain some respect in the city. A lesson in diversity and tolerance, it is a timely and light-hearted reminder that a thriving community is made up of many people with unknown histories. “When my children were young, I loved making up stories for them at bedtime. I thought about writing children’s books but I never had the time,” Hampson explains. “I wrote Dr. Coo on a whim in 2016. I typed it up on plain paper, sent it into the ‘slush pile’ of unsolicited manuscripts at Kids Can Press and forgot about it. I didn’t hear anything for three months when I got a call from an editor there saying she loved it. It was totally unexpected and, to me, that always brings the most joy.”