Acclaimed children’s book illustrator, London Ladd’s latest book Waiting For Pumpsie coincides perfectly with the start of the Major League Baseball season and is something he is very excited about. For Ladd, who graduated from OCC in 1995, this project was quite different from his previous five books, which was very refreshing. “The book is less historical in nature and is strictly told through the eyes of an eight-year old fan, which challenged me in a fun way as it was a point of view I had not dealt with before.”
Waiting For Pumpsie chronicles the story of a young boy and his family, who are avid Boston Red Sox fans, and the joy that follows as their team becomes the last major league franchise to integrate by calling up Elijah “Pumpsie” Green in 1959. However, for Ladd, getting the expressions of the child and his family were not the only challenges. “As baseball fans know, Fenway Park has undergone several renovations over its lifetime, so getting accurate images of that era to make sure the history of the team was a critical component.”
The book is available for purchase today at bookstores and online and is something Ladd hopes is a sense of nostalgia for the whole family. “The message of the book is a child’s joy, which he shares with this father and family because there is now someone they can identify with on their favorite team, so the child can relate, but I hope it also takes adults back to a time when they were excited to be eight-years-old too.”
Ladd is currently working on his seventh book, Midnight Teacher, which is a story about a slave, Lily Ann Granderson, who after learning to read and write commits herself to teach others despite the harsh consequences if she were caught doing so.