Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 14, 2018

Book GIVEAWAY: POLAR BEAR ISLAND by Lindsay Bonilla

Author Lindsay Bonilla has a new picture book titled, POLAR BEAR ISLAND. It is available in bookstores now. Lindsay has agreed to share a book with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Lindsay!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

“Welcome to Polar Bear Island. NO OTHERS ALLOWED!”

Parker is the mayor of this peaceful, predictable island, and he wants to keep it just the way it is. When Kirby, a penguin, arrives to shake things up and wants to stay, Parker says no – but the other polar bears love Kirby! Soon they’re begging Parker to let Kirby (and her family) move in. Will Parker agree . . . and make the island fun for EVERYONE? With its gentle message of inclusivity and cute cold-weather characters, POLAR BEAR ISLAND by Lindsay Bonilla is a delight!

BOOK JOURNEY:

I started writing POLAR BEAR ISLAND on June 8, 2015. (I date all of my drafts so that makes it easier for me to go back and see my book’s complete journey!) The inspiration for the story actually came from an experience my husband, Estith, had at work. Estith is a Colombian immigrant and one day in particular he was treated very disrespectfully because of his accent. The incident got me thinking about how many other immigrant friends of mine had faced similar instances of discrimination and also about the negative perception that so many people have of immigrants. I knew in that moment that I wanted to write a picture book that would introduce children to the positive aspects of immigration while encouraging kindness and open-mindedness toward new ideas.

I was so passionate about the story that I quickly penned a complete first draft. I did a couple of revisions before deciding to get a critique with author Pam Calvert. Pam told me that the story felt very complete yet many of the things that I had the penguins doing when they arrived on the island weren’t kid-friendly enough. She was right! She challenged me to come up with things that children would love, and this suggestion led to the penguins making sled beds, snow chutes and snow cones!

I continued working on the manuscript on and off until January of 2016 and then, for some reason, I put it aside. Then sometime in the summer, I heard about the SCBWI Roundtable Retreat in Michigan and decided to apply. Right about the time I was accepted, I also decided to pull out POLAR BEAR ISLAND and start working on it again. I took it to my critique group to polish it up before the retreat.

At the retreat in October of 2016, I decided that POLAR BEAR ISLAND would be the manuscript I would use for my roundtable session with editor Brett Duquette. Brett really liked the story and gave me some more great suggestions. Back home, I revised accordingly, said a prayer and put my manuscript in the mail, hoping for the best.

Not long after I heard from Brett that he wanted to take POLAR BEAR ISLAND to his editorial staff. By Thanksgiving I received word that it had passed the editorial board and by Christmas it had passed the sales board. I was over the moon!!

I guess you could say that this book’s journey to publication was fairly quick, all things considered. It was also very serendipitous in many ways. I’m thankful that the Roundtable Retreat motivated me to pull out that manuscript and start working on it again. And I’m thankful that it also happened to be the one I decided to share during the roundtable editor session.

It feels like this is the right time for this book to be out in the world so I couldn’t be happier or more grateful to be able to share it with young readers today!

LINDSAY’S BIO:

Lindsay spent her childhood voraciously reading books, scribbling stories, and taking the lead roles in her front porch stage plays. While a theater major at Northwestern University, she fell in love with folktales and world travel. She spent a year and a half touring Spain and Portugal teaching ESL with the audience-participatory theater company, Interacting.

Since then she has the opportunity to tell stories to school children in Haiti and Ghana, teach workshops to youth pastors in Guatemala and El Salvador and even perform street theater in Puerto Rico and New York City. All of these experiences have made her passionate about building understanding and relationships across cultures while inspiring the imagination. When not telling stories or acting them out with her sons, Lindsay is busy writing them from her office or a library in North Canton, Ohio.

Lindsay is a member of the National Storytelling Network (NSN) and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is also a teaching artist with Arts in Stark. Lindsay is represented by Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency.

Thank you, Lindsay, for sharing your book and journey with us. It looks like such a cute picture book. Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. i love the whimsy of the polar animals – this looks so cute

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  2. Wonderful colors, expressions and body language. What a treat!

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    • Thank you Sue! I agree — Cinta did a great job! 🙂

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  3. I enjoyed this book when I took it out from the library and would love a copy of my own! Best of luck to you!

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    • I’m so glad you liked it Lynne! 🙂 And glad your library has a copy! 🙂

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  4. Awesome! Polar Bear Island is now on my Christmas List!

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    • Thanks Donna! I hope that Santa delivered! 🙂 LOL

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  5. We are polar ice cap-sized proud of Lindsay and her willingness to take a chance with the Roundtable Retreat and this manuscript-turned-book! SCBWI Michigan is happy dancing for you.

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    • Aw, thanks Carrie!! You are so sweet! I’m still waiting with bated breath for the next Roundtable Retreat! Put me on the notification list! 🙂

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  6. I’m putting Polar Bear Island on my Holiday wish list and on FB and Twitter. I love how you took a difficult experience and made it into art with a message of kindness and inclusion. Kudos!

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    • Thank you so much Chrissa! 🙂 That message means a lot to me! 🙂

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  7. This book timely theme and kid-friendly story will resonate with young readers. Thank you for this lovely interview.

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    • Thank you Linda! I really hope it does resonate! 🙂

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  8. What a great and fitting allegory for our times. Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy!
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1073637721694851073, and pinned an image with a link on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772148716699/.
    Thanks again, have a great weekend!!

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  9. This book looks adorable! I love polar bears and penguins. I can’t wait to read this one!

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  10. I tweeted!

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  11. Sounds like a wonderful story! Love the penguins 🙂

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  12. Cute story and great story arc. It appeals to kids and adults alike. Good luck

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  13. Very cute characters in a cool story with a great theme. Looking forward to reading this.

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  14. I also shared on Facebook

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  15. what a fun book! And much-needed in these times.

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  16. Thank you for featuring Lindsay Bonilla and her debut book, POLAR BEAR ISLAND. I look forward to reading this book.

    The inspiration behind this story to encourage kindness is a positive message. However, I do not like knowing Estith’s negative experience.

    I am sharing on Linkedin, FB, and Twitter.

    Suzy Leopold

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    • Thanks Suzy! 🙂 Glad to have met you along this writing journey! 🙂

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  17. This looks charming and fun!

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  18. Congratulations, Lindsay! And there’s NO doubt this is the PERfect time for this book! 🙂

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    • Thank you so much! Yes, I agree!! Somehow the book came out right when it was needed! 🙂

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  19. Love this book! So glad it’s featured here!

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    • Thanks Patricia for your support and your wonderful review too! 🙂

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  20. Congratulations, Lindsay! I loved reading how this book came about!

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  21. Wow! Each journey to publication that I read about is different ! Good for you!

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    • It’s very true! Every journey is different! You never know what yours will be. . . surprises await when you least expect it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Our lovely library in Australia has your book which I just borrowed. Well done, Lindsay and I love reading about this books journey.

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    • Wow! That’s so exciting to hear! It’s amazing to hear how far a book/story can travel!! Thanks for sharing Kaye!

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  23. So fun and timely. Congratulations.

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  24. This looks fantastic!

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  25. An important topic told through a charming story and bright illustrations – what a great book for kids and adults of all ages!

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