Swapna Reddy on Reggie Rabbit and illustrated chapter books for newly independent readers

Reggie Rabbit: The Great Carrot Heist by Swapna Reddy. Book cover and author photo.


The book we've shared with our Parakeet subscribers this month is a hilarious and highly illustrated early chapter book that is perfect for newly independent readers. Reggie Rabbit and his sidekick Pipsquark had us laughing out loud with their crime-busting capers. The book is brilliantly illustrated throughout by Becka Moor, with lots of graphic novel elements that young readers will love. It's the first in a new series and we can't wait to see what Reggie has in store for us next. Here author Swapna Reddy tells us more about creating the series and which other illustrated chapter books for younger readers she recommends you read next.

What inspired you to write Reggie Rabbit?

The idea for Reggie Rabbit came from my publisher. They had a brilliant idea about a rabbit detective and asked if I would like to write the books. I absolutely jumped at the chance to write a detective series because it’s something I had wanted to write for ages. I work really closely and collaborate with my brilliant editor on each of the stories.

Which came first, the illustrations, the characters or the story?

For me, the characters and the story came first. They always do. But when my publishers approached me to write the books, they had some character sketches and illustrations to show me and it really helped to visualise Reggie more fully as a character from the start.

Which character did you most enjoy creating?

I love writing the character of Pipsquark. She is so much fun. She has a big heart and stands up for her friends but she’s feisty too and won’t let anyone walk all over her.

Do you think you would make a good detective? Why or why not?

I think I would be an awesome detective! I’m super nosy and I ask a lot of questions, which are both crucial skill for authors (and mums like me). When I was younger, I really wanted to be a detective just like the ones on TV.

Can you tell us anything about what happens next to Reggie?

Reggie has more adventures to come! In fact, I am just about to start writing the fourth book in the series. Reggie will be on a ghost hunt in the second book and we have him uncovering a jewel heist in the third. They have both been so much fun to work on and Becka Moor’s illustrations are INCREDIBLE.

Why did you choose to create books for this age group?

This is my favourite age group to write for. This was the age I became hooked on books and I want to make sure there are heaps of fun adventures ready to hook the next generation of readers on books too.

Do you have a favourite place to write and illustrate?

I love working in my local library. It’s hard not to be inspired when you are surrounded by books. My local library is always warm and cosy and when I need a break there are puzzles to do and even a place to have a quick nap.

Which other illustrated chapter books for younger readers would you recommend our subscribers read next?

Well I have to mention Bad Panda and Dave Pigeon by me and Sheena Dempsey otherwise all the pandas and pigeons will be annoyed with me, but I also really love the Grimwood series by Nadia Shireen. She writes the most hilarious characters. And make sure you check out Happy Hills by Sophy Henn.

Copies of our Reggie Rabbit: The Great Carrot Heist pack, including a copy of the book and loads of fun activities to go with it, are now available for individual purchase. Grab a copy while stocks last!

This post includes affiliate links to our bookshop.org page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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