Hello, Cynthia Lord! Welcome back to Watch. Connect. Read. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Because of the Rabbit’s cover. It makes me smile from ear to ear. Tell us about Lapi, the rabbit featured on the cover.
Cynthia Lord: Thank you for having me back, John. I love the cover, too! A big thank you and shout-out to designer Nina Goffi and editor Emily Seife at Scholastic for creating such a delightful and appealing cover.
Lapi is a lost pet rabbit that Emma rescues on the night before her first day as a fifth grader in public school. Emma has been homeschooled and finding a rabbit seems like a hopeful sign that school will go well. She names the rabbit “Lapi,” a nickname for “Monsieur Lapin,” a magical, trickster rabbit in the stories her French-Canadian grandfather used to tell about the animals around his farm.
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If Emma’s teacher asked her to write down three things about herself, what would she write down?
Cynthia: I suppose it would depend how brave Emma felt, but these would be three truths of her heart:
1. I hope there is a best friend waiting to find me.
2. I believe in rabbit magic.
3. I miss the days when my older brother and I did everything together.
What are you most looking forward to when Because of the Rabbit is out in the world for everyone to read?
Cynthia: With each book, my favorite moments are those when a reader writes to me or comes up to whisper to me at a school visit, and I realize that my book, this totally imperfect creation of my imagination, has given that child something that they needed. It can be anything from entertainment to filling a hole they’ve been carrying around inside.
I remember an email I received years ago from a child that was only one sentence: “I was so scared I was the only person who felt this way.” Finding ourselves in a book can be like that—feeling alone and then discovering there’s someone on our side. When I see that my book gave a child that experience. . . well, it’s a deep, important moment for both of us.
Please finish these sentence starters:
Jack is himself, which sounds easy but actually takes continuous courage.
Story is a gateway. We can meet and get to know characters like ourselves or different from ourselves and in doing so, take a step toward understanding real people.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me why rabbits? Because we have three pet rabbits at our house and my family also fosters rabbits for a rescue. In the past two years, we’ve fostered twenty-six rabbits, including the six baby bunnies we have today at our house. One thing that has surprised me about animal rescue is how transformative the experience has been for us, not just for the rabbits. As Emma says in Because of the Rabbit,
It’s a powerful thing to rescue something.
It changes both of you.
Look for Because of the Rabbit on March 26, 2019.