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Behind the Book: The Easter Bunny Hunt

last updated 29 February 2024

Easter is here! But where are the eggs? Join Cat and Dog as they search for a much-awaited Easter visitor!

When Dog’s descriptions of the Easter Bunny leave a few imaginative gaps for Cat to fill in, they soon find their home full of many other long-eared, fluffy-tailed creatures who are more than ready to enjoy the celebrations… Published by Harper Collins UK.

We joined illustrator Sarah Jennings to talk about the illustrative journey of this beautiful book. Join us now as we dive into the story behind the book.


What inspired the artistic style in The Easter Bunny Hunt?

The Easter Bunny Hunt is the follow up to In Or Out: a Tale of Cat Versus Dog. I had so much fun working with the HarperCollins team on the first book I was excited to work on a new Easter themed adventure for Cat and Dog! It was clear from the beginning that the artwork needed to be filled with as much humour and silliness as possible to match Stacy’s brilliant text. I had a good idea of the art style needed after working on In or Out and both have similar settings so I referred back to images from the first book to ensure continuity. It was also important to me to add in some fun little details that readers of the first book might recognise, like spotting Cat’s favourite green cushion that he cuddles up on in the first story. I wanted the illustrations to have a Spring time feel so there are lots of outdoor scenes where I couldn’t resist adding in lots of seasonal flowers, blossoming trees and jolly Easter decorations!


What inspired the character design?

It was lovely to be illustrating Cat and Dog again, it felt like visiting old friends! In this story they are joined by a whole host of other animal characters so it took some time to get each one looking just right! I opted for lots of exaggerated proportions and expressions to get them looking as zany as possible. I hoped this would get readers chuckling when each one is revealed throughout the book. I wanted the characters to be bright and bold so they would contrast nicely with the backgrounds and not look too similar in colour to the main characters so tried to steer away from using too many browns and greys.


What do you love most about illustrating books?

It’s so hard to pick just one but my most favourite part is creating characters. I always start a project spending a lot of time in my sketchbook or iPad working out how the characters might look, sketching them over and over and really getting to know them. I also love reading through the text for the first time and making those first super rough scribblings in response to it- sometimes some of them even make it all the way into the final book! Then there’s the feeling of seeing the book out in the wild on book shelves which is always amazingly special and never gets old!


What was your favourite part of working on The Easter Bunny Hunt in particular?

I loved designing and creating all the animal characters and then illustrating the spreads where they are all together causing mischief! I think Donkey was my favourite character design, I never got tired of drawing his big cheesy grin, chunky eyebrows and mega fringe!


Do you personally resonate with the theme of the book? If so, what are some things you do to achieve that?

Absolutely. The story is full of silliness but there’s an underlying message of showing patience and kindness towards others and making the best of situations that don’t turn out quite how you expect, which is a reminder we all need sometimes and definitely something I resonate with. On the other hand I can also totally relate to Dog’s many long suffering expressions in the book, I had a similar look every time I had to wrestle my sketches for the book out from under the snoozing cats on my desk!


Is there anything specific you hope readers take away after reading The Easter Bunny Hunt?

I just hope that every reader has an Easter just as fun as Cat and Dog’s… but hopefully with less fuss and bother!

To work with Sarah, get in contact with Amy Fitzgerald here.

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