Staake: It's a tough thing to pull off. The bullies could not believe what they did. You infer that through the expressions. Those kids will never, ever bully again -- that's the way I view it. Those were really difficult scenes. I had to make sure they were remorseful. They know they pushed it too far, and they will never do it again. They run off in complete shame. Kids get it.
CNN: How did you know kids would get it?
Staake: They completely get it. I don't care if I talk to kindergartners or prekindergarten. Everything that happens in "Bluebird" I went through as a kid. Every kid does. There's no kid who isn't bullied, no kid who doesn't encounter kids who are completely irrational, gang mentality, no kid who doesn't look in the world, who doesn't have these moments of A-W-E awe.
The best children's books come from the heart of the author. It sounds so trite and ridiculous, but if I can't go ahead and pull out from the depths of my childhood that experience that little Bobby Staake had, it doesn't have soul.