How the idea for the story was born?

I wasn’t watching tennis when the idea came to me, but actually a video of two funny kittens following something off camera with their eyes. That reminded me of spectators watching a tennis ball goes back and forth between players, everyone completely silent and focused despite all the excitement… the perfect narrative for a silent book! I don’t know much about tennis so the game is just an opportunity to draw what I like: animals, movement, gesture, emotions.

What's the story about?

It is the Animal Open Tennis Championship, the Finals. Bear versus Hare. Who will be the winner? This match is the highlight of the sports year and everyone has come to watch it. The photographers are snapping away with their cameras. The competition is on! Game, set, match! I’ve decided not to reveal the outcome of the match, but let each child choose their own favourite and giving to the protagonists equal chances of winning. The focus of the book is not on winning, but on challenge, equal opportunities and the pleasures of watching sport, of course.

Would you like to dedicate it to someone?

I would like to dedicate this book to my baby daughter who is my biggest source of joy and inspiration.


Bistra lives in Brighton, but she was born and grew up in Bulgaria in the 80s. As a child, she drew a lot and so she decided to study graphic design, illustration and typography. Few years ago, she moved to Brighton to keep studying illustration. She had been working as a graphic designer in the past, but now her focus is on illustration. She grew up loving hand marking, so she choose that path. She also thinks that working directly on paper can keeps you more focused.

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