Two Debut Interview: Annie Silvestro

In today’s Picture the Books Two Debut Interview, debut author Kerri Kokias discusses BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB with debut author Annie Silvestro.



BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB, written by Annie Silvestro and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss, (Doubleday) tells the story of a book-loving bunny who sneaks books from the library and shares them with his forest friends. It’s a true celebration of the power of books and the one-of-a-kind magic of reading.



KK: One of my favorite lines in BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is when Bunny misses story time so much, “He had to do something. So, with a flashlight in his paws and hope in his heart, Bunny jumped out of bed and tiptoed through the dark.” Do you have a favorite line of any book, any genre?

AS:  One of my all-time favorite lines comes from one of James Marshall’s GEORGE AND MARTHA stories. “But George never said ‘I told you so.’ Because that’s not what friends are for.” Perfect. (Martha also calls George a “fuss-budget” in this story, which I love.)

KK: If you could take credit for ANY other published PB out there, which one would you choose?

AS: SYLVESTER AND THE MAGIC PEBBLE by William Steig is such a classic. I’d love to write something that stands the test of time like so many of my favorites do.

KK: I love that you bring up how much you admire books that stand the test of time. I feel like BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is a classic, timeless story. Can you tell me a little about how you got the idea for this story?

AS: That is so kind of you to say! The idea started percolating when I was dressed in a bunny costume I wore for a parent show at my children’s school. Sometimes being silly gives you interesting ideas!

KK: Tell me about the pet/s you had growing up. Any bunnies?

AS: No, no bunnies unfortunately! I grew up with a cat named Muffin. She had sharp claws and wasn’t afraid to use them. I have always had a cat – right now, Blinky likes to sit with my son and me whenever we read the WARRIORS books (about cat clans).

KK: Tatjana Mai-Wyss’ illustrations pair so well with this story. What were your thoughts when you first saw her illustrations for BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB?

AS: I was crazy about them immediately! They have a charming, old-fashioned appeal to them and I love each and every character and detail. It’s amazing to me how Tatjana differentiated each animal’s personality. The final spread and the endpapers just knocked me out.

KK: I could live in the world Tatjana created for Bunny. There are so many great details. If you could choose to live in the world of any other picture book, which world would it be? Why?

AS: My first thought was Strega Nona because I am a lover of pasta and having a pot that made it on command would be pretty much the best thing ever. But thinking more, I’d have to say Busytown! I love Richard Scarry and how fun would it be to drive a pickle car or to hang out with Huckle, Hilda, Lowly, Mr. Frumble, Bananas Gorilla, Sergeant Murphy…

KK: BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is a favorite among teachers and librarians in part because of how highly it values a love of books, have you been doing any school or library visits?

AS: Yes! This has been one of the best parts of the whole experience. Sharing my story with kids and seeing their first-hand reactions has been inspiring and eye-opening.

KK: I hope you’re setting aside time for writing. What new projects have you been working on?

I’m trying, thanks! I’m working on some new picture books and trying my hand at an early chapter book as well.

Thank you, Annie. Congratulations on your debut book. I’m very much looking forward to your future publications.

silvestroannieAnnie Silvestro is a lover of books who reads and writes as much as possible and can often be found shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or someplace to put her teacup. Bunny’s Book Club will be followed by Mice Skating, illustrated by Teagan White (Sterling, Fall 2017) and The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains, illustrated by Paola Zakimi (HarperCollins Fall 2018). Annie lives by the beach in New Jersey with her husband and two sons who also love to read. Visit Annie online at or on Twitter and Instagram @anniesilvestro.

BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is available now. Order online , or purchase it at your favorite bookstore.

kokiaskerriframeKerri Kokias credits most of her story ideas to her “fly on the wall” personality. This means she’s both a keen observer of social interactions and a nosey eavesdropper. Her debut picture book, Snow Sisters (Knopf, November 2017) is about two sisters who enjoy a snow day in their own unique ways. Kerri lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, two children, and three dogs. Learn more about Kerri and her writing on her website, or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @kerrikokias.


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