A Publication of WTVP

The Courageous Cardinal

A new picture book for children was recently published with multiple connections to central Illinois.

by Peoria Magazine |
Kevin's First Flight

Kevin’s First Flight is the debut children’s book from Noah Emery, a native of Knoxville, Illinois, and graduate of Monmouth College. The book is illustrated by Lindsay Cocquit, an art teacher at Peoria Heights High School and fellow Monmouth graduate who also works with Art at the Bodega, an art studio in Washington, Illinois.

Using fun rhymes and beautiful watercolor illustrations, Kevin’s First Flight tells the story of a brightly-colored bird and his first adventures upon leaving the nest. Inspired by the children’s books Emery and his wife received after their son was born, the 32-page book is recommended for ages two to eight. It was funded through a Kickstarter project, with 97 backers pledging nearly $3,000 to bring it to life.

Emery, who now lives in Hamilton, Ohio, selected the cardinal as the story’s central character because of the positivity and strength it represents. “Whether it is on a cold winter day when the sight of its bright red feathers brings a moment of warmth, or when a cardinal is singing outside the window on an early spring morning, we all can relate to the emotions a cardinal brings throughout the year,” he explains. Copies of the book are available at