Monday, 25 February 2013

THE BAD EASTER BUNNY Meet the author and illustrator behind this delightful Easter picture book


THE BAD EASTER BUNNY

A children’s picture book you will not want to miss.


Written by Isabel Atherton and illustrated by Stéphanie Röhr




We give it  *****



Welcome readers. This week we are pleased to bring you news about a terrific children’s picture book. This is going to be a fabulous gift to give alongside the Easter eggs. Indeed, it may not be a bad idea to get a copy ahead of Easter and let the youngsters appreciate a good message, for life, not just for Easter.

This is a superbly well-written book by Isabel Atherton, who is none other than Keith’s own literary agent. (Actually, that isn’t quite true, since she is not my very own agent, since she runs  the highly successful Creative Authors literary agency, which has oodles of other writers, artists and generally creative types on their books.)

Going on from the success of her adult picture book Zombie Cat, which she did with Bethany Straker, and which we reviewed earlier on the West Uist Chronicle, she has this time teamed up with another very talented artist Stéphanie Röhr.


As a taster, have a look at THE BAD EASTER BUNNY – the movie!





And so I am pleased to welcome both Isabel and Stephanie into the office for a chat to tell you all about it.

Isabel, welcome back. For those of our readers who are visiting for the first time, tell us a little about yourself and your background.


Thanks for having me back! I’m a literary agent at Creative Authors Ltd. You can see more about my company and the wonderful authors I represent at www.creativeauthors.co.uk. I also love collaborating with talented artists and this has led me to work on illustrated books. The Bad Easter Bunny aka BEB is my first children’s picture book. It’s been such a treat to team up with Steph and I am over the moon with how the book looks. I hope readers will enjoy it too!


Stephanie, give us the lowdown on yourself, please.

Allo. I’m an illustrator of children’s books and an Art director for Creature London. I moved to England from France four years ago, to immerse myself in London’s vibrant creative energy. Finding Isabel has been fantastic, and I’m looking forward to working with her on future projects. I prefer to let my work speak for me and you can hear it chattering away at: stephanierohr-illustration.com
  



Isabel, tell us about the book. I know that you are a very polite lady yourself and I suspect that you had a reason for writing this story.

My wonderful publisher, Julie Matysik at Sky Pony Press in New York, dropped me a line enquiring if I had any suitable scripts, as she was looking for a title for the Easter market and she also wanted to use Steph as the illustrator. This got me thinking and I decided to have a go at writing the story myself. Whenever I think of Easter I think of the Easter Rabbit and so I decided to develop a story around the bunny. I pondered the character for a few days and suddenly bingo! I thought of how in my life there have been occasions where I haven’t felt necessarily appreciated and how the Easter Bunny hands out gifts, but how does he feel? Is he appreciated for his efforts? The key message is the importance of gratitude. Something, I believe should never be underrated.


Stephanie, I love these pictures. How did you choose to draw the Easter Bunny this way? Did you decide between you?




Our publisher wanted to get me on board again after ‘Count the Sheep to Sleep’ by Phillippa Rae was released. She thought that a colourful Easter story would fit perfectly with the bright colours I love using, and the quirky ideas I punctuate my work with. The first time I read BEB, it was clear to me BEB had to be both cute and a little bit scary for kids to love the character. I always send early sketches to the authors I work with, believing it’s important they are happy with my interpretation of their work. My initial drawings were well received by Isabel and throughout the process I kept her involved with how the spreads were developing. 

Isabel, I know that you have other books in the pipeline. Can you share these with us?

Yes of course! I have one more book scheduled to be published in Fall 2013. It’s called ‘Smelly Ghost.’ It’s about a ghost who gives off a bad smell due to all the junk food he eats and how he eventually learns that eating good foods will lead to feeling healthier and happier. It’s illustrated by Bethany Straker. We’re also currently working on two more children’s books together to be published in 2014. These are ‘Springy Chicken’ about Martha a chicken, who has springs for legs, which initially ostracizes her from her fellow hens until she leaps into action to save a young chick from the mean Mr. Fox and finally ‘Mr Cow’s Deep Sea Adventure.’ Mr. Cow doesn't like to make cheese or yogurt like his cow friends - he'd rather be exploring and in his first adventure, he takes a trip to the bottom of the 
deep blue sea, where he finds all kinds of creatures and makes a friend along the way.




Stephanie, what are you working on next? Have you got other books coming out? Will you be collaborating with Isy again?

Currently I’ve been commissioned by creative agency Serious Comedy to illustrate a scooter safety booklet for six year olds, and I’m developing a series of funny, edgy, educational books for teenagers with award winning comedian and comedy writer Darren Ruddell. I always ways hope to collaborate with Isabel. It’s been a fantastic experience, and I adore her writing. Her stories are full of charm and allow me to play with bright colours and funny visuals jokes, which I love.


Ladies, it has been a pleasure. We wish you well with your future projects.

Thanks so much, Keith!
Merci beaucoup, Keith!


We really love this book and if you would like to hop over to the Amazon opposite, you can order your copy!

Keith Souter
Associate Editor

Calum Steele
Editor