Claudia: I usually begin with a question. It could be why cats have whiskers or the purpose of life. The source of my ideas is always curiosity. Sometimes the answer to the question I ask becomes the theme for a story. I carry sketchbooks everywhere I go, so I can scribble ideas and play around with different styles. Once I have an idea for a story, I plan the book by drawing a storyboard on a plain piece of paper. The storyboard becomes the roadmap for the development of the visual narrative and for the words that tell the story.
Claudia: I like to reveal the pencil marks on the paper. I use graphite and color pencils, charcoal and ink on paper. Sometimes I use watercolor or I add color in Photoshop. The story usually tells me what the best medium for the book is.
Claudia: There’s no formula for how to make art look magical. I think an illustration feels “magical” when it brings you a sense of mystery and when it creates an emotional connection.
Claudia: Not to repeat myself.
e: Is there something in particular about this story you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
Claudia: We could say that Bunny Slopes belongs to the interactive children’s books genre.
Books that require the reader interaction have been around for more than a hundred years, Pat the Bunny (1940) being one of the most celebrated. These books are coming back again, maybe as the authors response to the current ubiquity of digital interactive media. Most of those books are playful and fun. Although Bunny Slopes has that playful element, my intention was to go beyond and to explore interactivity as a narrative resource. I wanted the reader to be able to move the story forward or to change the story. I find this possibility amazing and full of potential.
I also wanted to develop Bunny as an adventurous and playful character, but also caring and warm-hearted.
e: I think it worked! Thanks Claudia!
New York Times’ Bestselling author Claudia Rueda’s Bunny Slopes is swishing onto bookstore and library shelves! Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can't conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda's innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.
Check out this adorable trailer on Youtube: