Yolanda Felton Discusses The Parisian Bunny Caper
The Children’s Book Review in partnership with Yolanda Felton, author of The Parisian Bunny Caper: The Adventures of International Lily
The Children’s Book Review: The Parisian Bunny Caper: The Adventures of International Lily is the first picture book in the Adventures of International Lily series. Can you share a little bit about what readers can expect from the series and, in particular, The Parisian Bunny Caper?
Yolanda Felton: Readers can expect to be transported to a different country in each book from the series. In The Parisian Bunny Caper, they’ll get to experience Paris as Lily discovers it.
I read that the inspiration for The Parisian Bunny Caper came from actual travels you took with your family. Can you share a little bit about how your experiences transitioned into children’s literature?
Yes! My family decided to go on a two year trip around the world when my daughter, the real-life Lily, turned one. We traveled to 35 countries. It was such a transformative experience. I’d blogged about my travels for years, but traveling with a small child was a different ball game. For that reason, writing for children seemed to be the logical next step. I wanted to find a way to share the world through Lily’s eyes.
Ros Webb’s accompanying illustrations bring the magic of Paris to life. How did you come to work with Ros?
Ros was incredible to work with. She lives in Ireland, but I found her work online and asked her to do a sample illustration. Ros got my vision immediately.
Paris is like a character in its own right. The scenic sights, smells, and tastes of this city enthrall Lily—the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre make captivating cameo appearances, along with other quintessentially Parisian scenes. How did you choose which parts of this beautiful city to highlight?
It was really difficult to narrow things down. Paris is a place I’ve been to several times, and I always find something new. So beyond the most visited sights, it was important for me to highlight the parts of the city that really impacted Lily during her time in Paris.
Lily’s charm is apparent, and her amusing observations are one of the highlights of the book. How closely does the story version of Lily resemble real-life Lily?
The real Lily is full of funny and insightful comments about everyday life. Some of the lines in the book are direct quotes. Her description of the smells of Paris are an example. The pluckiness and determination are taken directly from real-life Lily.
Both culture and diversity are key components of your story. Can you speak to this?
It’s interesting because I started conceptualizing this book in 2018, before race and racial injustice were openly discussed the way they are now. As I went through the writing process, it occurred to me that there was a message in the idea that this black family is traveling around the world. We don’t often see people who look like us in the travel space, and I wanted to highlight that. It was also important to me that the illustrations represent the beautiful diversity of Paris.
Since this is the first book in your new series, where will Lily go next, and how quickly will readers be able to get their hands on her next adventure?
Lily will travel to Argentina for her next big adventure. Readers can expect it to be available in late summer 2021.
What was your favorite part about creating The Parisian Bunny Caper?
I loved putting the text and the illustrations together. Ros did such a wonderful job with the illustrations, and it’s truly a joy to see them next to my words.
What children’s books influenced you the most while growing up?
As a young child, I was in love with Corduroy. As a preteen, I was obsessed with The Baby-Sitters Club series. I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird in the 7th grade…that was the first book to really affect me.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about The Parisian Bunny Caper, the series, or yourself?
I hope readers enjoy The Parisian Bunny Caper as much as I enjoyed writing it. The goal of the series is to make kids feel like they’re on an international adventure, traveling to a faraway place and learning about different cultures and languages in the process.
Written by Yolanda Felton
Illustrated by Ros Webb
Age 6-8 | 30 Pages
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press | ISBN-13: 978-1662900587
Publisher’s Synopsis: Lily travels with her family to Paris. She meets new people and discovers lots of cool places in the City of Light. What happens when her trip is complicated by a furry friend? This book makes a great gift for young readers who have a sense of adventure and love learning about different cultures. Join Lily on the adventure of a lifetime!
Buy the Book
About the Author
Yolanda Felton lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. They spent two years traveling the world with as a family. Before developing a passion for writing about travel, Yolanda wrote legal briefs as a labor and employment attorney.
This interview—Yolanda Felton Discusses The Parisian Bunny Caper—was conducted between Yolanda Felton and Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Author Interview, Bunny Books, France, Paris, Picture Book, and Travel.
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