Today we are very excited to share a special interview with author Katrina Moore (HOPE IS A HOP)!
Read on to learn more about her, her book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Katrina Moore
Katrina Moore is an elementary school teacher and author of the picture books, Sometimes Love, One Hug, Grandpa Grumps, and more, as well as the Teeny Houdini chapter book series. Her backyard blooms with vegetables, fruits, and flowers–thanks to her little gardeners. It’s also a playground to many visitors–thanks to the bunnies that hop in from time to time to say hello. She lives with her family in New Jersey.
About the Book: Hope is a Hop
Just in time for Easter, a moving exploration of hope, from its resilient roots to its sprouting—and surprising!—possibilities.
When Eva’s hopes for a cheerful flower garden are dashed by a rascally—and hungry! —rabbit, she sinks into despair. But it’s from this new vantage point that she discovers something surprising and wonderful about her four-legged-nemesis that reminds Eva of her own growing family and inspires her to try again.
Told in sweet, lyrical verse, and accompanied by the tenderest illustrations, Hope is a Hop shares a powerful message and the heart-tugging illustrations and bunny rabbit motif make it a natural pick for Easter gifting.
Amazon * B&N * IndieBound
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I wrote this book in the summer of 2020. At the time, things were scary on a global level, and personally, there were also devastating things occurring. All of it was out of my control, yet affected me. So I felt a heaviness. Because of this, I wanted—needed to find light to carry on, and carry through. Then, one day, as I was playing outside with my children in the backyard, we discovered that our dogs were particularly interested in a patch of grass. When we went to investigate, we found a nest of baby bunnies, carefully covered with tumbleweed, burrowed in our backyard. We called our local wildlife rescue center to find out the best way to proceed with letting these wild bunnies be nurtured safely by their mama, and also keep them safe from our curious dogs. We ended up letting them share our space, and kept a close eye (from a safe distance) on their development. Oh, how my children loved them! They named them, hopped with them, and even let them enjoy our garden treats when they wandered that way. Watching my children take such care and interest in the bunnies brought me such joy. It made me realize that even when things feel dark and heavy, there’s always light, if only we can keep our eyes and hearts open enough to find it, nurture it, and help it to grow. And that little bit of light—brought on by backyard bunnies, was the seed that grew into HOPE IS A HOP.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite character is definitely Eva. She shows such grit with growing her garden! She dreams it up, gives it love, and does everything she can to make it grow. But she also has a big heart, and opens it, when things don’t go according to plan. Melissa Iwai brought her to life in a way that is so beautiful, rich, and real.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the book?
In this case, the book came first. The concept for this sprouted from the real life bunnies that visited our backyard. And then, after I wrote out the first draft, I knew exactly what the title needed to be—something that captures what this is about (hope), and the journey that it often is to find it and nurture it, in a very tangible way (a hop) that’s a treat for the tongue! I’m very happy—or rather, hoppy, about that because titles don’t always come that easily to me. J
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I absolutely love the scene where Eva’s mom is consoling her, and Eva’s wrapped around her mom’s (pregnant) belly. The text on this page reads, “Hope’s a soft heartbeat so loud that it drums.” Eva’s expression is heartbreakingly sad as she leans against mom, her mom’s is calm and caring and she leans, back towards Eva, and also against the trunk of the tree. There are beautifully symbolic, whimsical, and hopeful flowers that surround them, gently wrapping them in a hopeful future. Melissa brings this really resonant moment to life so powerfully, and it’s so beautiful. And I’m proud of how the text and illustration really work together here to create the evocative scene.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
I’ve learned that the real magic happens during revision! Also, there are so many things that are out of our control—especially in the writing industry. So your best bet is to focus on the things you can, like finding joy and hope in something each day, writing the things you love, and maybe the things that scare you, too, and to keep learning and growing in craft and community. If you do this, you’ll be a better writer for each new book, and have more people around you to cheer you on through the many ups and downs!
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Everything! Melissa Iwai is so masterful in her craft. On the cover, I love how flowers frame the sides and top—so full of brightness and joy—exactly how we’d hope spring to look. She includes both the main character, Eva, and the mama bunny. They’re looking right at each other, which gives us a sense of the plot from this intimate scene. It feels very personal, yet inviting to us, all at once. From the font selection, to the text placement, to the trim size of it all, every decision that went into the cover was really thoughtful. It perfectly captures what we want this book to be because of Melissa and the Dial/Penguin team.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
HOPE IS A HOP springs onto shelves March 7, 2023. After that, my next picture book will be THE STAR IN YOU, coming out in the fall of 2024, illustrated by Amber Ren (published by Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan). I’ve seen the first sketches and it’s already so beautiful! So I can’t wait to see the final art. That book is an empowering one that will hopefully help young readers recognize their own star power. And then another (to be announced) picture book will publish in 2024 that I’m incredibly excited about, too!
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I would say that it’s probably my ability to always look for the light in a dark situation. Though, it always helps to have cute bunnies (and amazing kids) around to help you find it, too!
Title: HOPE IS A HOP
Author: Katrina Moore
Illustrator: Melissa Iwai
Release Date: March 7, 2023
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Age Range: 3-7
~ Giveaway Details ~
Five (5) winners will receive a copy of Hope is a Hop (Katrina Moore) ~US Only!
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
4 thoughts on “Author Chat With Katrina Moore (HOPE IS A HOP), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only!”
What a sweet cover and clever title. Congratulations!
WOW so CUTE
Book looks great! Think my twins would love it!