siblings: 5 Articles

Pooka & Bunni: Interview with Jennifer Zivoin

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 time

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Pooka & Bunni: Interview with Jennifer Zivoin 2021-02-03T14:15:24-05:00

Creating The Find Out Files My Sibling: Interview with the Author

In the last of four interviews Isabelle Filliozat, French parenting expert, talks about her book, My Sibling.  My Sibling is part of The Find Out Files, a series of activity books that explores feelings and relationships. You can also read her interviews about My Emotions, My Anger, and My Fears. Here's what Ms. Filliozat has to say about creating My Siblings: Magination Press: Why did you decide to include a book about siblings in The Find Out Files? Isabelle Filliozat: Do you really have to ask the question? Isn’t it the most difficult topic the parents face? It was the most complicated issue for me with my children. So hard! We hate to see our children fight, but behind those fights are emotions. If we parents learn to hear these emotions, fights lessen. Small fights are natural between siblings, but children need tools to help them deal with conflict so that they don’t harm themselves physically or emotionally.  MP: Why did you choose a cat as the animal guide for My Sibling? IF: Cats are very cute and friendly. They come to be petted, but they have their independence. And as with your siblings, you never know if he wants to cuddle or fight. While kittens fight a lot with each other, they never harm themselves, but they practice fighting with one another so that they will be strong with strangers. Kittens cuddle a lot. They go underneath one another, on top, any position…I love the game “kitten basket” where all the family piles on each other, pretending to be kittens in a basket. There’s so much contact. You end up laughing and charged with oxytocin! MP: In My Sibling, you explain how birth order affects how families interact. You explore what it feels like to be a first child or a younger child. What kinds of unique experiences do middle and youngest children have? IF: I didn't have room to explore all positions in detail, but the idea is to think about the impact of the environment on development of temperament. When you are in the middle…well, you are in the middle…so you neither get the advantages of the eldest, nor of the youngest. And also you are older than one, and younger than another. So it’s a mix of the positions. It’s of course different when you are in the middle of three kids or in the middle of five, and when the gap between each is one or six years. So many situations and recompositions nowadays add complexity. The idea of the book is not to trap a child in a definition, but to help him think about the experience one is living. MP: What about twins or multiples? They have to share their parents from the beginning, and people frequently compare them. What kind of experiences do they have as siblings? IF: Yes, every situation is particular. That is what we have to realize. A baby doesn’t grow alone in a desert, he builds himself

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Creating The Find Out Files My Sibling: Interview with the Author 2020-09-29T15:39:42-04:00

Pooka & Bunni

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.

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Pooka & Bunni 2020-11-02T11:33:47-05:00