Exclusive Video Interview About “Por qué” Folktales, Childhood Wishes, and How Cuban Culture Shaped Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish
“I think any child can relate to wishes. But then when [Tiny Rabbit] is really faced with a crisis, wishing isn’t enough and he starts to run! He hides in his little den, and he’s proud of himself for having been smart enough to do that. And so, I think the combination of wishing and action would be what I hope [students take away from Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish].”
We all have big dreams! And through a combination of wishing and action, we can go after them.
That’s one of the core lessons that author Margarita Engle hopes readers take away from her rhyming, rhythmic, and relatable Book of the Week, Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish.
Watch her Scholastic Book Clubs–exclusive author interview to discover more about how Margarita’s own wishes and background shaped the story, including:
• How Margarita started out by writing poems in her head to the rhythm of her steps while walking
• What Margarita’s “big wish” was as a child (and why she thinks it’s a bit embarrassing!)
• Margarita’s bittersweet experiences visiting her family and nature preserves in Cuba
• Why Margarita wrote Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish and what she hopes readers take away from the story
• How Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish connects to “Por qué” folktales, or “why” folktales, which seek to provide an explanation for why something is the way it is in the world
Margarita Engle is the Cuban American author of many verse novels, memoirs, and picture books, including The Surrender Tree, Enchanted Air, Drum Dream Girl, and Dancing Hands. Her books have won numerous awards, including a Newbery Honor, Pura Belpré, Golden Kite, Walter, Jane Addams, PEN USA, and NSK Neustadt, among others. Margarita served as the national 2017–2019 Young People’s Poet Laureate. She is a three-time US nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Book Award. Her most recent books are Your Heart, My Sky, A Song of Frutas, Light for All, Rima’s Rebellion, and Singing with Elephants. Her next young adult verse novel is Wings in the Wild, and her next picture book is Water Day, both to be released in 2023.
Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to Cuba, her mother’s homeland, during childhood summers with relatives on the island. She studied agronomy and botany along with creative writing, and now lives in central California with her husband.
Facebook: Margarita Engle
David Walker has illustrated a number of books for young readers including Peep and Ducky; No More, Por Favor; Before You Were Mine; and Flip, Flap, Fly. A former art director for Hallmark, David now lives with his family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs