Nathan Hackett was asked to create an illustration in homage to his favorite children’s book to raise money for the children’s charity, Acorn.
Hackett’s favorite book, Esio Trot, an illustrated classic by Roald Dahl, with illustrations by Quentin Blake, is about Mr. Hopper and his attempts to convince the woman in the apartment below, Mrs. Silver, who’s somewhat gullible, to fall in love with him. Hopper invents a faux magic spell that makes Mrs. Silver’s beloved pet tortoise grow.
Hackett selected Esio Trot for its peculiar ability to transcend age. He enjoys the mischief in this children’s book even as an adult. While Mr. Hopper is flawed and morally dubious to hoodwink Mrs. Silver with his seductive parlance, his gestures can be very sweet, at times.
Hackett shows the neighbors on their balconies–cluttered with an assortment of furnishings, plants, animals, accessories and snacks–engaged in lively conversation.