Interview with Sybrina Durant about Cleo Can Tie A Bow on Chit Chat With Charity

Learn to Tie a Bow, Have Fun Too

Today’s blog is a book tour featuring a children’s teaching book. It is designed to help children learn how to tie a bow in Cleo Can Tie a Bow: A Rabbit and a Fox Story by Sybrina Durant. Along with book details and an interview I was provided with the book to review.


  1. Why did you decide to write a book about how to tie a bow? 

I had already written several books in my “Learn To Tie With The Rabbit and The Fox” series, that were based on a desire to come up with a fun way to instruct others how to tie a neck tie.  Tying a bow is in the same realm as tying a neck tie and I had wanted to write a book about tying bows for a long time. Cleo’s Tie A Bow story didn’t come along until many years after the publication of the first books. I just couldn’t figure out how to use the same methodology that I had used in the tie a tie books.  You know how you get stuck in a particular way of thinking? Well, I was stuck on the idea that, like in the other books, the instructions had to be based on the fox chasing the rabbit through a forest. It takes several more movements to tie a bow, than to tie a neck tie so it was just too complicated to figure out how to do it like that. When I was finally able to break away from that concept I was free to come up with an even more fun way to present the instructions. In Cleo’s story, a helpful fox actually assists a long eared rabbit to keep her ears from dragging on the ground. This story is much more kid friendly. 

  1. You say it’s “kid friendly” and yet you show a fox tying a rabbit’s ears into a bow. I know you caution kids to never tie an actual rabbit’s ears into a bow as that would be cruel but aren’t you worried you are placing bad ideas into their heads? 

I am very glad that you’ve asked that question. Cleo, the main character of the book actually ties her doll bunny’s ears into a bow.  She remembers how to tie a bow by recalling a story about a cartoon fox tying a cartoon bunny’s ears into a bow. This book is meant to be used as an interactive activity between parents and their very young children.  It offers a perfect opportunity for parents to explain concepts like how to recognize the differences between fantasy and reality to their kids. I watched many cartoons while growing up. Many had impossible situations like showing a roadrunner dropping an anvil on a coyote’s head or a rabbit plugging the end of a gun with its finger or a carrot to have it explode in the hunter’s face.  I read fairy tales where an evil woman fed a poison apple to an innocent princess but that only made her sleep until a kiss woke her up; or a red queen yelled “chop off their heads” for every perceived slight. Somehow, I and millions of others who were introduced to the same fantasy ideas grew up to recognize the differences between right and wrong.  

  1. What were your favorite cartoons when you were growing up?  

I loved The Flintstones and The Jetsons. One took place in ancient times and one in the distant future.  The pre-historic stone agers lived a thoroughly modern life despite being cave dwellers. They had a full complement of household appliances and construction equipment such as garbage disposals (pigasaurus), bowling balls (armadillo), vacuum cleaners (elephant), electric ovens (powered by electric eels), construction cranes (brontosauruses) and so much more. They even had cars powered by Fred Flintstone’s feet! Those cartoon writers had amazing imaginations. If PETA had existed in the ’60’s I’m sure that cartoon would have been much more boring as they probably would have fought to relieve the Flintstones of all their animal powered conveniences. The Jetsons traded all of that dino power for robot technology. OK I will admit I was more than a little bit influenced by that cartoon.  I really thought we’d have flying cars by now. 

  1. What is your favorite type of music?  

I guess I’d have to say Pop or Pop Rock music is my favorite.  I’ve written a lot of songs in those genres over the years and I write songs for most of my books, too. The song at the back of Cleo Can Tie A Bow is the background music for the book trailer.  Well, there are actually 3 book trailers for Cleo.  I just couldn’t get one to look exactly how I wanted it. You can see them all on Youtube on my Girls Love Bows Play List.  

5. What is your favorite craft besides writing?  

Read the answer to this question and also read a review of Cleo Can Tie A Bow at Chit Chat With Charity.

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