Author-illustrator Cori Doerrfeld

Happy Friday! I am currently in Chicago for the ALA Midwinter meeting. I'm excited to spend the day with Colby Sharp, Travis Jonker, Kurt Stroh, and more. Before I head out for the day, Cori Doerrfeld stopped by to chat with me about Matilda, dancing, Penny, reading, and picture books. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Cori! 

Matilda the bunny went through several evolutions both in her appearance, and her story.  She began somewhere in a painting I did long, long ago and quite simply with a bunny in a tutu. While developing the book, I gave birth to my second child.  Instantly my world became about finding a way to make sure my oldest still received attention, but also helping her see that she can't always be the star of the show.  This is what lead Matilda in the Middle to focus more on family dynamics. Life is busy, and families constantly juggle needs and wants. I hope Matilda sends the message that despite all of this, your family is there for you when it really matters--to celebrate and to love you. 

Illustration Credit: Cori Doerrfeld 

I created the illustrations for Matilda in the Middle in a style that was completely new to me. My prior books were all hand painted in acrylics.  I wanted Matilda to feel more classic and less graphic. So ironically, I found a way to color the art digitally.  All the bunnies were still hand drawn with pencil, and it took a LOT of experimenting and failing, but in the end I am very happy with the results. 

Ballet is something I was never very good at.  (Hence the less than confident look on my face in my recital photo).

Illustration Credit: Cori Doerrfeld 

Penny Loves Pink tells the story of change through the eyes of a toddler.  I wrote this story when I worked at a daycare taking care of two-year olds.  There was a girl who needed everything around her to be pink: her clothes, her toys...even her potty.  Children, especially young children, take comfort in the things they know. Facing change or something new can be scary for them. Penny is just a little reminder that change is all in how you color the situation.

Illustration credit: Cori Doerrfeld 
Picture books are where the adventure begins BECAUSE reading is how we explore the worlds within. 

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about Matilda's REAL siblings.  I actually have three different picture books with bunnies as the main character.  Little Bunny Foo Foo The Real Story is Matilda's somewhat twisted older sister.  And in 2016, a baby brother is coming along.  I just finished illustrating Snuggle Bunny by Kate Dopirak. 

I am giving away 5 copies of Matilda in the Middle

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 1/30 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/1. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. If you win, please pay it forward. 

Borrow Matilda in the Middle form your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


  1. There's no way not to love these bunnies! And, Cori, what a great ballet pic! You look so sweet :D


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