When we adopted Bunny, she quickly settled in and made our home hers. In no time she was being her own little self, creating mischief, and greeting every visitor at the front door as if they were her guest. Her sweet, adorable personality inspired us to write a book about the wild and wacky adventures we imagined she would have, if given half a chance.
And yes, her front door salutations were indeed the inspiration for the title of our young readers’ chapter book series, “Hello, My Name is Bunny!”
We never would have written a single children’s book, let alone a series, without the intention of helping KittyKind, the shelter that took Bunny in from her rescuers—Stray Cat Social Club— and introduced us to her. That’s why we donate $2 to KittyKind from every Hello, My Name is Bunny! book sold on our website. Because we often can’t bear to wonder what would have happened to Bunny had she not been rescued.
Soon after adopting Bunny, we learned of the enormous number of homeless cats living on the harsh streets of New York City (500,000), and felt we had to do something to help them. (And that’s before we realized how many millions of cats were homeless across the U.S.) There are literally tens of millions across the country that need our collective help. Although we know one book series won’t solve the entire problem, we do know these three things: 1. We can create good stories that kids love. 2. We never give up! 3. If we all do what we can to make life better for the most vulnerable among us, their lives will dramatically improve. To paraphrase the Talmud, “…whoever saves one life saves the world entire.”
Our literary inspiration came from a New York Times Bestseller called The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide. While our book series is very different from this touching, beautifully written adult fiction tale of a stray cat who invites herself into the lives of a young couple, the story set our imaginations alight with what a children’s book about a former shelter cat on a mission to pay forward her good fortune could look like.
The cover of The Guest Cat is beautifully simple, almost black and white, and that’s what influenced the illustrations in our first book, Hello, My Name is Bunny! New York City. Its blue and white tones are interrupted only by the piercing green of Bunny’s emerald eyes! You’ll see that the stunning illustrations—created by super-talented illustrator Pippa Mayell—in our first four books are intentionally timeless. We didn’t want them to be obviously set in the 2020s; they really could be from any modern-ish era. We wanted them to be distinctive which is why they are inspired by Japanese animal art: simple yet full of energy, whimsy, and a touch of humor!
It’s also why we decided to set the fourth book in the Hello, My Name is Bunny! series in Tokyo. Japan is home to the first cat cafes and has long adored our beautiful feline friends. So, of course, Bunny had to have an adventure there.
In Hello, My Name is Bunny! Tokyo you’ll find haikus, falcons, a clowder (or two) of cats, and more. The story takes the reader on breathtaking flights above Tokyo, through its mazelike streets and alleys, and even to the vast Toyosu fish market,
Leading book review magazine, Kirkus Reviews calls Hello, My Name is Bunny! Tokyo “A sweet and simple tale of forgiveness that teaches kids and adults alike the value of helping others,” and gives it a “Get It” recommendation. We hope you’ll agree.
You can find Hello, My Name is Bunny! Tokyo here and wherever you buy your books online! If you buy it, please leave us a review! Aside from making a purchase, it’s the very best act of support you can give an author.
Love and Purrs,
Shelley Simmons-Bloom and Matt Bloom