Q: What inspired you to write Mama Bunny’s Good Pie?
A: I had made a blueberry pie, and we had it for dessert. Later I was walking by, and there was one piece left, and I ate it. And I said, “Goodbye, good pie!” That’s how it came into being.
Q: Why did you choose bunnies as your characters?
A: I needed a group, and every time the pie blew in, someone took a bite. The idea is for kids to stop, think, and make a decision. If you stop and think, you take a better path! I needed a bunch of [characters], and bunnies came to mind. They’re all over my yard--they’re so cute!
Q: What do you think Sally Garland’s illustrations add to the story?
A: You write the words, and illustrators’ incredible gifts bring them to life. She brings incredible warmth, kindness, and coziness to the book. Each little bunny has their own personality. There’s an old-fashioned tint to it that reminds me of Beatrix Potter. I loved her work.
Q: Can you say more about what you hope kids take away from the story?
A: I hope kids laugh!
Also, I want them to think about kindness, doing good for others, and recognizing the kindness that others do for them. Stop, think, and proceed with kindness.
Q: How did you first get interested in writing picture books?
A: When I was a little girl, my grandmother would write stories, and my sister and I were the heroes of those stories. She would mail them to us. We thought it was the most incredible thing. To this day, if there were a fire in my house, I would grab those things. So when I was 6 years old, I thought regular people could write books. I was a voracious reader.
I was a fifth grade teacher in Ohio, and we moved to Wisconsin and settled in Cedarburg. I began taking classes—I wrote and learned the craft for seven years. After seven years, I was at a conference in Chautauqua, New York—my husband signed me up. I rewrote a story, and sold it. Once you sell a book, it gets easier. It opens up doors.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m in a strange situation—I don’t have to edit or rewrite anything! I’m working on several stories—one is an old story about a frog in a dollhouse. I’m working on a mouse story. And I’ve got a couple of others in the beginning thinking stages.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Part of writing the book was the encouragement of going outside. It’s crucial to fun and imagination. I sent all the bunnies outside to play. That was in my mind.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb