I'm a Hare, So There! by Julie Rowan-Zoch

Hello, Julie Rowan-Zoch! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read.! Thank you for stopping by to discuss and celebrate I’m a Hare, So There!, a picture book that’s going to be super fun to read aloud. I predict it will inspire students to conduct further research about hares, jackals, rattlesnakes, collared lizards, Gila monsters, ravens, crows, and more. What planted the seed for this story?

Julie Rowan-Zoch: My agent was intrigued by the jackrabbit character I had originally developed for an illustration contest and wanted a story. Having been to parts of the Sonoran Desert I felt more confident plopping Jack into the setting, but really I just wanted to draw lots of saguaro cactuses! Once he was there the story just kind of hopped out!

Scenario: A bookseller at your favorite independent bookshop asks you to fill out a shelftalker about I’m a Hare, So There! 

Julie Rowan-Zoch: Funny question as I am a bookseller at Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins, CO! (For my last book release I shamelessly filled my staff-picks shelf with my own books and made a HUGE arrow pointing out the fact that I had illustrated it!)

“A jackrabbit smugly corrects and educates a ground squirrel on the obviously superior traits distinguishing hares from rabbits. The two walk the desert comparing more similar-but-NOT-the-same creatures, with Jack oblivious to a predator preparing to pounce! Hilarious read-aloud!”

Ohhhhh! That's incredible! I didn't know you're a bookseller at Old Firehouse Books. I love visiting Fort Collins! I hope to visit Old Firehouse Books and meet you one day! 

Please finish the following sentence starters:

I’m A Hare, So There!’s case cover zooms in on the main characters, one from the front, one from the back! And just now I am realizing a connection: part of the dedication refers to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet!

The illustrations in I’m a Hare, So There! were finished just ahead of the pandemic. For a long period I was very frustrated with my execution and fed my fretting with lots of peppermint patties. You may think me eccentric when I tell you the spirit of a friend finally showed me where to look for inspiration, but I’m sticking to this story. Besides, everyone else already knows I am!

Louis was an absolute delight to work on! Challenging as it was to find the right measure of dramatic expression without making Louis feel like a live bear, I feel truly lucky to have been part of the team that brought Tom Lichtenheld’s story to life. What I didn’t expect was how much fun it would be to work on marketing ideas and materials with Tom! Although I am very proud to be debuting as an author-illustrator with I’m a Hare, So There!, I’ll admit it feels a little lonely not being able to share the fun in a similar manner.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me how I made the illustrations: all in Procreate on an iPad with one finger. Mine, of course!

Thank you, Julie! 

Author, illustrator, bookseller, and activist: Julie Rowan-Zoch grew up collecting freckles and chasing hermit crabs in NY, and spent years slicing rich breads in Germany before waking up to 300 days of blue Colorado skies. If she doesn't answer the door, look in the garden!

Look for I'm a Hare, So There! on March 16, 2021. 


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