WHO WE ARE 

The Rabbit hOle was founded in 2015 by Pete Cowdin and Debbie Pettid, longtime artists and operators of the Reading Reptile, one of America’s most beloved children’s bookstores for nearly 30 years. 

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Because of their reputation as innovators and their vast network of relationships throughout the publishing industry, The Rabbit hOle enjoys the support of hundreds of award-winning authors and illustrators from around the country, giving it unprecedented access to the licensed content and properties that will populate its exhibitions. In addition, Cowdin and Pettid bring with them an extensive and fiercely loyal following within Kansas City’s educational community.

NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

comprised of some of the most influential authors and illustrators in the country  

Brian Selznick

Caldecott Medal winner and creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, adapted into Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning Hugo; Wonderstruck, also adapted into a film by Todd Haynes; and The Marvels. Selznick also illustrated The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, a Caldecott Honor book.

Shane Evans

Illustrator of more than thirty picture books for children, including Chocolate Me! with Taye Diggs and The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith, a John Steptoe Award winner. He is the author and illustrator of Olu's Dream and Underground, a Coretta Scott King award winner.

Kate DiCamillo

Newbery Medal winning author of Flora & Ulysses  and The Tale of Despereaux and the recipient of a Newbery Honor for Because of Winn-Dixie. She also served as our third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature 2014/2015. 

Linda Sue Park

Writer of both novels and picture books for young readers, including A Single Shard, the Newbery Medal winner, and the New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water. Her most recent titles are the Wing & Claw series, and Yaks Yak. She serves on the Board of Advisors for SCBWI and We Need Diverse Books. 

Daniel Handler

Writing as Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for numerous books for children, including A Series of Unfortunate Events which has been adapted into a film and a Netflix series. His first play, Imaginary Comforts, or The Story of the Ghost of the Dead Rabbit, was produced last fall at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He is the winner of the gold medal.

Lisa Campbell Ernst

Celebrated Kansas City writer and illustrator of countless picture books, including The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book; Sylvia Jean Drama Queen; Goldilocks Returns;  and Stella Louella's Runaway Book. Her art is featured in the Children's Room at the Downtown Central Branch.

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Dr. Michelle Martin

 Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor for Children and Youth Services in the Information School at the University of Washington. She is a renowned author, essayist, lecturer, book critic, and champion of diversity in children’s literature. Author of Brown Gold: Milestones of African-American Children’s Picture Books, 1845-2002.

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Leonard Marcus

Author of more than 20 biographies, histories, interview collections, and inside looks at the making of children’s literature’s enduring classics. He is one of the world’s preeminent authorities on children’s books. He teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts.

GOVERNING BOARD

Kansas City civic leaders and activists
(+ Jon Scieszka)

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Marny Sherman

Board member, KC Symphony, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, Cristo Rey

Jon Scieszka

The country’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and author of The Stinky Cheese Man.

Peter Sloan

Principal, HOK Architecture; Former President, AIA Kansas City

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Diane Power

Community Activist/Volunteer

Director, Ronald McDonald House (1986-2001)

Sonja Shaffer

Co-founder, Kids to the Rescue; Director of Programs and Operations at University Academy

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Billie Howard Barnes

Educator, The Pembroke Hill School; Board member, The Kansas City Public Library

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Christine Fielder

Board Member The McDonnell Foundation

Community Activist/Volunteer

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Larry Taft

Executive Vice President, Director of Retail Operations- Citizens Bank and Trust

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Ethan Whitehill

Chief Marketing Officer and member of the Executive Committee at MERGE; Founder/CEO of Two West 

STAFF

planning, designing, fundraising, & support

Pete Cowdin
founder/co-director

bitterman@rabbitholekc.org 

Debbie Pettid
founder/co-director

deb@rabbitholekc.org 

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Leigh Rosser 
fabrication & design
leigh@rabbitholekc.org


Pat Franke
architect

pat@rabbitholekc.org

Joey Fleming
digital design and fabrication coordinator
joey@rabbitholekc.org

Greg Shuler
Fab Shop Foreman
greg@rabbitholekc.org

 

Jordan Strickland Morris
creative director

jordan@rabbitholekc.org 

Donald "Scribe" Ross
sculpture team leader
scribe@rabbitholekc.org


Will Burnip
general fabricator


Jordan Dean
sculpture team leader


Grant Kelso
general fabricator

Mac McClanahan
metal team lead

Travis Smorstad
lead carpenter
travis@rabbitholekc.org

Johanna Gee
soft goods coordinator
johanna@rabbitholekc.org 


Lindsey Foat
content and communications director

lindsey@rabbitholekc.org 

Mary Clara Hutchison
office manager
mary_clara@rabbitholekc.org 

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THE BUILDING

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SUPPORTERS

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NEWSLETTER

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RAB FAB STUDIO