Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 12, 2017

Book Winners & Book Giveaway – Bunny Bus by Ammi-Joan Paquette

Carl Scott winner of THUNDERSTRUCK by Brenda Drake
Teresa Robeson winner of PONY IN THE CITY by Wendy Wahman
Sue Smith winner WATER IN MAY by Ismee Williams
Buffy Silverman winner LOVE YOU ALWAYS by Eileen Spinelli

Remember to send your addresses

I missed seeing Ammi-Joan Paquette picture book BUNNY BUS that came out earlier this year, so I contacted her to ask if she would share her journey and book with us and she agreed to do the book giveaway. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


The Bunny Bus rolls into town, picking up more and more friends. Yet as the bus gets more crowded, with a “hop, hop, stop!,” it becomes overwhelmed with celebrants and must cease its ride. However, the passengers are undeterred and fix up the Bunny Bus and share the load, and the book ends with an Easter parade. The illustrations are adorable and playful. The Bunny Bus’s face droops more and more as the weight on the vehicle increases, until the bus stops with a smudged and dirty frowning face that is simultaneously cute and induces an audible sigh of disappointment. The charming spirit of those riding the bus, who pitch in and share the burden, results in a heartwarming message. Paquette’s rhyming, repeating text makes this a suitable read-aloud, with audience participation at the refrain of “hop, hop, stop!” VERDICT For libraries looking to diversify their holiday collections.—Kaitlin Malixi, Bucks County Free Library, Doylestown, PA


“With a quick-paced gait, the rhyming verse celebrates every stop Bunny Bus makes…Illustrator Withrow’s bright characters are reminiscent of Richard Scarry’s, with jolly animals dressed in their Sunday best, resplendent with plaids, patterns, and purses.” ―Kirkus

“Featuring cheerful, colorful art, rhyming text, cute animal characters, and an animated bunny-shaped bus,  this upbeat Easter-themed read is a playful secular take on the holiday…The detailed, Richard Scarry–like illustrations, incorporating varied textures and patterns, cartoonish touches, and springlike hues, have childlike charm and appeal, as do the brightly attired animal characters and expressive bus, perky ears, fluffy tail, and all. Playful details throughout and decorative endpapers with an embellished egglike motif add further flair to this entertaining celebration of the springtime holiday.”―Booklist


BUNNY BUS had quite a different journey than any other of my published books. It started with a character—but it wasn’t my character, but Lesley Breen Withrow’s. In the course of her artistic endeavors, Lesley had created an array of art pieces which her agent had mailed to various editors. One of those editors was Joy Peskin at FSG, and the image she received was this one:

Quite as you might imagine, Joy fell in love with this character. Bunny Bus oozed color and charm and personality! But where was his story?

At that time, I happened to be on a trip to NYC. In a lunch meeting, I listened as Joy waxed eloquent about her love for this character, and how she wished that an author might write his story. Well! Almost without my realizing it was doing so, my mind started to whir.

That weekend, I took my laptop to the coffee shop for some writing time, as I frequently do. I started thinking about Bunny Bus—and before long, the beginnings of a story popped into my head. The draft that I wrote that day ended up very close to the final one which I sent to my agent, who sent it to Joy, who signed it on to publish.

I have written many, many picture book texts. But only rarely do I feel that magic-flow that pulls me right under its spell so that it’s almost as though the story writes itself; in this case I credit that inspirational magic right to the irrepressible character of Bunny Bus.


I have been writing stories since early childhood. My sister and I would spend hours creating masterpieces of stapled paper and handwritten words, complete with pen-and-ink covers and boxed illustrations. Probably my favorite part of the process was creating a list for the back cover: “Don’t miss the other books in this series!” That list of eye-catching titles always seemed like way less work than (hand) writing out a whole book. But isn’t that just the way of things?

The road to publication was long and winding, peppered with many small successes including: a variety of national magazine publications, being a 2005 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award honoree, and receiving the 2008 SCBWI’s Susan Landers Glass Scholarship Award, for the book that would later become Nowhere Girl. My first picture book, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies, was published in 2009.

I now live with my husband and two daughters in the Boston area, where I continue to write books for children and young adults. I am also an agent with the Erin Murphy Literary Agency (but that’s a story for another day). What more do you want to know?
I am… mother, friend, reader, traveler, food-lover, chocolate connoisseur.
I am not… especially tidy, a fan of mushy vegetables, or good at coming up with spur-of-the-moment self-portraits.

Thank you Ammi-Joan for sharing your book, journey, participating in our book giveaway.

Make sure you visit on October 21st. Lesley Breen Withrow, the illustrator for BUNNY BUS will be featured on Illustrator Saturday.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. OMG so cute! I want to ride the bunny bus!


  2. I love this story! The bunny bus is so cute and the art and the text are such a wonderful combination. Congratulations Ammi-Joan!


  3. Shared on Twitter:


  4. Congratulations on this new one, Joan! That adorable face did deserve a story. Thanks for sharing, Kathy. 🙂


  5. I love writing moments when one my stories pulls me in. Bunny Bus looks like a friend for many young reader. I tweeted.


  6. I tweeted and posted on FB in hopes this book hops into my hot little hands. Belated congratulations!


  7. Love the idea of bunnies on a bus! I tweeted.


  8. Ammi-Joan, how aDORable! Before I even saw the illustration, the title in the heading sounded too cute 🙂 This really IS reminiscent of Richard Scarry’s illustrations and I can see why you would be inspired. Congrats to you on this one!…and to all the book winners, too!

    Sharing :)…


  9. What a delight this will be for those lucky children who get this read to them! Congratulations!


  10. Woot, woot! Wendy has already gotten in touch with me, Kathy; thank you both for the giveaway!

    Joan amazes me with her talent: writing for all ages *and* being a super agent!


  11. I love the idea behind this book’s creation–how the character told the author its story 🙂 Belated congrats Joan, it’s a keeper! from a huge Richard Scarry fan…
    I also shared on facebook and twitter


  12. That looks delightful! What likable cats and bunnies!


  13. I read it when it first came out and absolutely loved the text and the colorful and lively illustrations. Congratulations!


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