Siblings can have complex relationships. They love each other, but sometimes they irritate each other, too. Pooka & Bunni explores the bond between sisters and how a big sister can still learn something new from her little sister. Here's an interview with the author and illustrator of Pooka & Bunni, Jennifer Zivoin, about how she created this book and other titles for Magination Press. Magination Press: What was the inspiration for Pooka and Bunni? Jennifer Zivoin: Pooka & Bunni was inspired by my daughters, who were ages 4 and 8 when I wrote the book. I was actually working on a completely different manuscript which was just not coming together. Then, one day while my older daughter Olivia was at school, my younger daughter Elyse started playing with Olivia’s Lego creation and broke it. She tried to put it back together, but when Olivia came home, she could definitely tell that all was NOT as she had left it! This sort of scene would play out in my house almost every day: Elyse idolizes and loves her big sister, and Olivia is loving and inclusive to her sister, but sometimes the age gap creates conflict. MP: Do you have a sister or brother? JZ: Yes, I have a younger sister AND a younger brother! MP: Pooka & Bunni is the first book you’ve written and illustrated. How was that different from illustrating a book that someone else has written? JZ: When I illustrate a book by another author, the framework for the story is already there. My job as an illustrator is to add to the storytelling through imagery. However, with Pooka & Bunni, I created this book the exact opposite way of how a book by another author would come together. I think in pictures, so instead of the text coming first, I illustrated the entire book without words. Then, I wrote the text for the pages to fill in any gaps in the storytelling. MP: What was the hardest part of making Pooka & Bunni? What was the most fun? JZ: The hardest part of creating Pooka & Bunni was coming up with the designs for the characters. Pooka and Bunni are based on my own children, but they also had to be their own unique selves as characters, and their looks and designs had to reflect that. In early sketches, Pooka and Bunni were going to be rabbits, but I just could not get their personalities to shine through, and they kept looking like animal caricatures of my daughters. Then, once I threw all structure out the window and went with monsters, that is when the character designs finally started to take shape. Monsters could move and look however I wanted, and so their designs became all about communicating Pooka and Bunni’s feelings and personalities. You can tell just by looking at them what is going on inside of their heads. That was the most fun—drawing the characters in their many poses and expressions! Every timeRead More
About Jennifer ZivoinJennifer Zivoin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and has illustrated more than 40 children’s books, including Pooka & Bunni, which was the first book she also wrote, A World of Pausabillies, and Something Happened in Our Town, which was a Notable Social Students Trade Book for Young People book and an Action Book Club selection. Her artwork has appeared in children’s magazines, including Highlights High Five and Clubhouse Jr., at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and in books by Bill O’Reilly, James Patterson, and the band Guns N’ Roses. She lives in Carmel, IN. Visit her online.
Having a sibling can be fun, but it can be hard, too. Bunni and Pooka are sisters. Bunni is big, clever, and interested in many things. Pooka is little, clever, and interested in doing whatever Bunni is doing. When Bunni builds a pillow castle, Pooka wants to help, but Bunni says she's too little. When Pooka accidentally knocks over the castle, she has to use her creativity and perseverance to rebuild, bigger and better. Even big sisters can learn from little ones! Hear author Jennifer Zivoin read Pooka and Bunni aloud.Read More