From the Publisher
Why is there an Easter Bunny? Let him tell you the tale of how everything has changed, even himself. Follow a little rabbit, as he discovers a familiar voice in a garden one night. The man is God in the flesh, of this he is sure, and he cannot help but follow him, as he is captured and put on trial. The little rabbit is confused at what he sees. Then as he hides and waits, he discovers the true source of transformation. Now he can’t wait to tell you and his friends about the good news he has found. Will you listen to his tale?
“This creative retelling of the Easter story presents the Gospel message in a sweet and kid-friendly manner. With warm and endearing illustrations, An Easter Bunny’s Tale offers biblical truth and reminds us of God’s love and grace.”
– Crystal Bowman—award-winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books.
Brock: What was your inspiration for writing this book?
Valerie: When my oldest was about three, my husband and I had a discussion if we would have the Easter bunny as part of our Easter celebrations. I grew up with the Easter Bunny, but as we discussed it, we didn’t see any connection between the rabbit and the gospel. The more I thought about it the more I struggled with the overwhelming presence of the Easter bunny. Then a question popped into my mind, what if the Easter bunny could point people to Christ instead of candy. From that question this little story grew into a book I couldn’t keep to myself any longer.
Brock: Tell us about the main characters. Who are they, and what makes them unique?
Valerie: The main characters are a little grey rabbit and Jesus. I think we can all agree that Jesus is pretty unique since he did miracles and was the Son of God. While the little gray rabbit is pretty ordinary, except for the heart-shaped fur on his chest. Be sure to watch this little feature as you read through the book.
Brock: Give us one fact about each main character that no one else knows.
Valerie: Jesus: He’s coming back. Bunny- in the original version of the book he was brown. Beta readers are very important.
Brock: In three sentences (or you can choose three words) what is this book about?
Valerie: Easter changes everything.
Brock: Do you outline the entire book before starting, or do you write as you go and let the characters take control of the story?
Valerie: Since An Easter Bunny’s Tale follows the events of Easter, that provided the basic outline for the story. Then I just had to figure out how a rabbit could fit into all the events leading up to the resurrection of Christ.
Brock: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Valerie: In the story, as the little bunny follows Jesus, he finds himself getting dirty. When Jesus comes back to life, the little bunny doesn’t think Jesus would want to see him because he is so dirty. But my favorite line in the book is, ‘His nail-torn hands scooped me up. He didn’t fear the mud and the muck.’ I think we all feel inadequate and unworthy whether we’ve been a Christian for a long time or have yet to claim Jesus as our savior. But it’s because of what Jesus did on the cross that we can be with him and be washed clean. It is a truth we all need reminding of from time to time.
Brock: What is your favorite genre to write for?
Valerie: I think Rebekah Lyons said it once, “where your burden and your passion collide is where you find your purpose.” I love writing for kids because my boys are my joy and burden. And my passion is for stories that move people. Writing for children is such a challenge and a joy. When you do it right, the story will speak to the child inside all of us.
Brock: How do you hope parents will use this book with their kids?
Valerie: It’s my prayer that parents will use this book and the discussion questions in the back, to have conversations about what Jesus did at Easter and what that means for our salvation.
Brock: What do you hope kids take away from this book or series?
Valerie: My hope and prayer is that kids can watch the changes in the little gray bunny and see how what Jesus did on the cross can change their hearts. That they will want to know more about Jesus and his death and resurrection, so they can come to a saving faith early in life.
Brock: Are you a full-time or part-time author/writer?
Valerie: I am a part-time writer. My other titles include Taxi-driver, Line Chef, Housekeeper, Laundry service, and walker, abbreviated as Mom.
Brock: What is your "how I got published" story?
Valerie: I started writing seriously back in 2006, but when my son was born in 2008 plus several other circumstances, depression became too big of a stumbling block to ignore. So for ten-years I worked through my depression and focused on raising my family. When the 2020 quarantine came around I had worked through a lot of my depression and insequrities, writing mostly for fun in this time period. But during the stay-at-home mandate, I found myself drawing pictures for this story. As it all came together, I decided to put the book together as an Easter gift for the kids in my extended family. After giving those books out, God pressed on my heart that this story wasn’t just for my family. With a lot more prayer and encouragement from my family, I moved forward to self-publish An Easter Bunny’s Tale in 2021. There was a strong learning curve and illustrator issues that made me postpone the release to 2022. God knew what he was doing, and I’m so thankful I said yes to his leading.
Brock: What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
Valerie: Harold and the Purple Crayon and the Velveteen Rabbit are my favorite children’s books. They are the books that introduced me to the magic of words and stories. Favorite books as a teen were the Narnia Chronicles by CS Lewis and This Present Darkness by Frank Perretti.
Brock: In what ways does your faith impact how you approach writing?
Valerie: My faith is the ultimate inspiration. Most of my stories come from faith struggles or faith questions that I or my kids have had. There is no greater storyteller than God and I am humbled to join in his efforts to communicate truths about him to anyone who would read.
Brock: Favorite place to vacation?
Valerie: Red River, New Mexico in the summer. My family has traveled there for five generations. It even was a honeymoon spot for several members of my family. The quiet beauty of it all plus the memories make it one of my favorite vacation spots.
Brock: Favorite season?
Valerie: Spring. I love the burst of color after winter, and it means Easter is coming
Brock: Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write?
Valerie: I usually have a large cup of water and some trail mix. If I’m feeling healthy the mix is almonds, cashews, and cranberries. If my sweet tooth gets the best of me, it might be peanuts, M&M’s, and chocolate chips.
Brock: What’s your favorite holiday memory?
Valerie: We were having Christmas at my grandmother’s house with all my cousins. My youngest cousin at the time was six and it was her turn to open a gift. She ripped through the paper and exclaimed “It’s a Box!” She was so excited about this brown cardboard box, that my aunt and uncle were confused. They thought they forgot to put the gift in, but no, the give was there. My sweet little cousin was so excited to open gifts that it didn’t matter what was inside.
Brock: Did you always want to be a children’s author?
Valerie: Truthfully no. I started out wanting to write Historical fiction for adults, but as I started having children I fell in love with children’s books. And as my kids enjoyed the books we brought home, I began to write stories for my kids, and I love it.
Brock: What are you reading right now?
Valerie: Right now, I’m halfway through Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, while also reading The Awesome Super Fantastic Forever Party by Joni Eareckson Tada and Fart Proudly by Benjamin Franklin (follow me on social media to find out why)
Meet the Author
Book Title: An Easter Bunny’s Tale
Publisher: Bee Magnified Press
Audience: Children ages 4-8
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Release Date: 2/28/2022
Author Name: Valerie Fentress
Author Website: www.valeriefentress.com
Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/valerie.fentress
Author Twitter: www.twitter.com/FentressValerie
Author Instagram: www.instagram.com/valeriefentress
Author Other Social Media: www.tiktok.com/@valeriefentress