When picture book author Jeanette Hopkins visited Fairfield recently to record a Writers Voices interview with me on KRUU, she brought along her husband, Bruce, and his book, When Foxes Wore Red Vests: Finding My Sense of Place. Instantly I was intrigued by this book’s cover; it’s a gray-and-red tinted collage of squirrel skin, wood beads, Bruce’s sketches of birds, and a photograph of his grandfather perched on a car’s running board while scrubbing its roof.
Inside the book Bruce explores his Catskill Mountains youth by interspersing his own thoughtful essays and poems among family photos and evocative pencil drawings made by his late brother Barry. The mix works well. Readers come away not only with an awed appreciation of Bruce’s sense of place but also with a desire to bask in place themselves.
Chatting with Bruce, I learned that both the cover of his book and its contents were drawn from detailed journals he’s kept through the years. Click here to hear more about Bruce’s writing process and how he and Jeanette nurture children’s love of nature.