Posted by: nancyisanders | February 21, 2022

How Bunny Hopped into a BOARD BOOK:  Five Fun Facts About BUNNY FINDS EASTER by Laura Sassi 

Bunny Fact  #1:  My own confusion as a child about the real meaning of Easter inspired me to write BUNNY FINDS EASTER.  

As a little one I loved dying Easter eggs and hunting for jelly beans, but I didn’t make the connection that Easter is when we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection until I was in grade school. So with my own children, I made extra sure to connect all the wonderful traditions of Easter to the real meaning of the holiday. For example, while nibbling jelly beans with my little ones, we’d ponder how they were good, just like God, who in His goodness, sent us Jesus. Or, while marveling over the first buds of spring, I’d connect that to our new life in Christ. These conversations eventually became the spark that got me writing this story.

Bunny Fact  #2:  BUNNY FINDS EASTER was written to be a board book from the beginning. 

Since I wanted my story to serve as a faith spark for littlest ones and was also keen to try my hand at a board book, I mapped the story out with that format in mind from the get-go. That meant fewer spreads (10 or so instead of 14) and very short text so that the words wouldn’t crowd the pages and would also allow the illustrations to tell part of the story. To help me get this just right, I read lots and lots of board books. (Special note: This is a must if you are interested in pursuing this format.)

Bunny Fact  #3:  I chose to write BUNNY FINDS EASTER in rhyme because it fit the feel of the story and Bunny’s personality.

After playing around with prose versus verse, I decided to tell the story using short bouncy rhyme because I thought it captured Bunny’s bouncy personality. Rhyme also resonates with youngest readers. (Special note: Choosing to write a story in rhyme is a tricky proposition. My opinion is that it should only be tried if you can execute it flawlessly in terms of both rhyme and meter, and if the rhyme makes sense for the story.)

Bunny Fact  #4:  I originally envisioned lift-the-flaps, but simplicity (and probably production costs) prevailed.

Since my hope from the beginning was that BUNNY FINDS EASTER could be used as the sweet spark for conversation with littlest ones about the real meaning of Easter, I thought I would help parents navigate that by including short explanations on each spread explaining how each moment depicted points to Easter in some way. For example, on the spread with the hot cross buns, there was an added phrase: “Is this Easter?”  And in then in a sidebar (or potentially under a flap) were the words: “No, but the cross shape reminds us of Easter.”

In the end, my editor and I agreed that those mini-explanations broke up the flow of the story. Still, it is my hope that families reading the book with their little ones will use the sweet illustrations and text as a spark for conversation about how all those items and traditions can remind us of Jesus: the real gift of Easter.

Bunny Fact  #5:  My prayer from the beginning has been that the book will serve as a fun conversation starter about Easter and JESUS!

Do you pray over your written projects for God’s wisdom and blessing, asking that the words you pen would be pleasing to Him?  I do. And because I do, my writing, in a sense, becomes a way giving my time and talents (which He has so generously given to me) back to Him.  And I am so excited, now that it is out, to see how God will use BUNNY FINDS EASTER.

BUNNY FUN

For a very meaningful (and fun!) activity, host a special book walk! You can do this with your own children, in your neighborhood, at your local Christian school, or with your children’s ministry at your church! Just click on the link below to download and print instructions for hosting your very own book walk with kids this year and celebrating Laura’s newest board book, BUNNY FINDS EASTER!

BIO:  Laura Sassi has a passion for telling stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of six books for children including the best-selling Goodnight, Ark, which was a 2015 Christian Book Award Finalist; Goodnight, MangerDiva Delores and the Opera House Mouse, which won First Honor Book for the 2019 Best in Rhyme Award and is a 2021-2022 Iowa Goldfinch Award Nominee; Love Is Kind, which was a 2020 Anna Dewdney Read Together Award Honor Book; Little Ewe: The Story of One Lost Sheep and Bunny Finds Easter, her new board book with Zonderkidz! 

Laura Sassi, Author

Responses

  1. Thank you so much, Nancy, for hosting me with five fun facts about the book. I’m so excited for this new release and appreciate that you are sharing it with your readers.

    • Laura, it’s such a joy to have you visit my blog. And your newest book is so sweet! Blessings on it as it is shared with the world!

  2. These ARE fun facts, Laura! I hope you do get to create a lift-the-flap book one of these days. My little grandson LOVES them (and he loves your book too, despite the lack of flaps).

    • Thank you for sharing my books with your grandson. =)

  3. As they always do Laura’s Bunny book looks adorable. And there’s that message of Jesus, too!

  4. I really enjoyed hearing about your new book, Laura. It sounds like a fun one and also a great way to help get kids focused on the real meaning of Easter.

    • That’s my hope! So nice to see some familiar names here on Nancy’s blog.

  5. Congratulations on the launch of Bunny Finds Easter, Laura. I love the idea for a book walk and appreciate your insights on planning and writing a board book.

    • I agree with you, Claire! The idea for a book walk sounds like so much fun!

    • Thank you, Claire. It will be fun to see if any churches/groups host a book walk.

  6. Congratulations, Laura! It’s been fun watching this book evolve and now seeing all the fun things you can do with it!

  7. I loved this book as soon as I saw Laura’s first posts about it, and I’m so glad you’re helping her spread the word about it! It’s so great to help each other.


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