Painting inspires tale of rabbit on moon

By Michele Hunter

A friendship between two Tauranga mums has resulted in a children's book being published by industry giant Penguin.
Moonrabbit was written by Megan Kelliher, and illustrated by her close friend Dominique Ford.
It's a tale about a mystical white rabbit who lives on the moon, and grants the wishes of sleeping children.
The idea was born from a painting by Dominique of a white rabbit in a moonlit forest clearing.
When former primary school teacher Megan saw her friend's painting, she was immediately inspired.
"It looked like it needed a story to go with it. I went away and let my ideas mull around.
"Because the moonrabbit was Dominique's creation, I wanted to make sure my story, or my interpretation for the moonrabbit matched what she had in her head."
And when she came back to her friend with her idea, the project took off.
"From the very first draft she captured what I wish I could have thought of myself," Dominique said.
"We are so similar, we have such similar ideas."
The pair, who said they were "each other's biggest fan clubs", had worked together on stories before, which had been contracted to Reed Publishing.
Reed was bought by Penguin about the same time they submitted Moonrabbit and the publishers "fell in love" with it.
The pair have dedicated the book to their children - Dominique is mum to Diva, 14, Spencer, 10, Cleo, 7; and Megan to Lachlan, 7, and Brooke, 6.
The book is also dedicated to Dominique's cat Ziggy, who inspired Moonrabbit's physique.
"We both felt we were doing this for our own children, although it's nice to think that millions of other children might enjoy the book," Dominique said.
"We've had lots of input from our children along the way.

They have been really helpful."
Moonrabbit was a "quite magical" book, Megan said.
"It's the joy of being able to see the world through your children's eyes - children look at the world in a beautiful way.
"We wanted the book to see the world how children see it, to catch a bit of magic."
Penguin has showcased Moonrabbit at international book fairs, and the book has already attracted interest from Britain, Japan, Italy, Germany and Australia.
Meanwhile the pair have already started working on their next book - another tale about magical creatures called Seamice.
"We make a great team," Dominique said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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