The Rustle of Leaves: Book illustrator meets with young students

Published 9:03 am Thursday, January 6, 2022

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By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

The Rustle of Leaves.
It sounds scary to little rabbits; but in the end, the children’s book with the same title let’s those little rabbits know that the rustle can be scary to the fox, as well.
That book, written by Howard Cooper of England, is illustrated by Jacob Rosier of Davie County.
Rosier, a 2016 Davie High graduate and UNC Asheville graduate with a degree in 3D animation, enjoyed his first endeavor into book illustrating.
He and Cooper (via computer) visited with Cornatzer Elementary students before the holiday break, reading the book and answering questions from the students.
Rosier said his mom was in a writing group, when the subject if hiring an illustrator came up. She said her son can do illustrations.
Cooper then reached out, and the collaboration has worked well for both.
Rosier completed the illustrations on an iPad, and the work is more complicated than it seems, he said.
“My art teacher (Lauren Reid) at Davie High probably propelled me into art. I was doing more traditional art, and I still do some of that on the side.”
A book starts with a story, he said, with characters and art. He and the author talked about what the characters should look like, and he creates “thumbnails,” or smaller, simpler versions of the final product.
“You can make a book about anything,” he told the students. “All books are special. Always remember, if you keep working hard at it, you will improve and will get better. This comes with a lot of practice. There were a lot of mess ups. You just have to keep working at it.”
It took about eight months to complete the art for the book.
“This was my first book and I learned a lot. It was a lot of fun and another one is in the works. When you’re an illustrator, you get to do what you love. It’s a lot of work, but I loved every minute of it.”
Angelina Etter, Cornatzer media center director, said it really helps students to meet authors and illustrators. “It’s cool to them,” she said.
To order a copy of The Rustle of Leaves, visit Amazon.