“Bailey Bloom and the Battle of the Bug” is a new children’s book by author Jill Rosensweig. The story follows superhero-loving best friends Bailey Bloom, Zoey, and Rose who decide to become real-life superheroes as the Coronavirus pandemic sweeps their town. The book celebrates kindness and friendship and inspires hope. The story is also a resource that parents can use to discuss Covid-19 with their children.
A portion of the proceeds from every sale of the book will go to Save the Children, a non-profit organization that is supporting schools and community programs aimed at feeding the hungry during the pandemic. Save the Children is also delivering medical supplies and hosting trainings around the globe to help health care workers protect themselves and further prevent the spread.
Author Jill Rosensweig recently discussed this book via an exclusive interview.
Jill Rosensweig is a civil litigation attorney and host of the weekly legal podcast, “The Whole Truth with Jill Rosensweig.” She grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and graduated from McGill University with a B.A. in Political Science. She earned her law degree from Boston College Law School. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children and favorite furry friend.
Meagan Meehan (MM): When did you first get interested in writing children’s books, and how many have you created to date?
Jill Rosensweig (JR): I’ve been toying with the idea of writing children’s books for several years now. I have been writing a novel for the past year, so I put the idea of writing a children’s book on hold. But, when the pandemic hit, I sat down at the computer one day, and this story just came out! After reading the story to my kids and seeing their reaction to it, I knew I had to put it out into the world.
MM: How long did it take you to complete this Covid-centered story?
JR: The first draft took about 3 hours, but the entire process from the first draft to officially putting the book out took approximately 3 ½ months. Given how timely the topic is, I was intent on getting the book out quickly, so I worked around the clock to get it done. Parents need resources right now, and with the book exploring the idea of kids returning to school, the importance of getting it out before the fall was paramount.
MM: What were the biggest inspirations behind the book?
JR: This book is a love letter to my children and was entirely inspired by their acts of kindness during the pandemic. I wrote the book after my daughter made a huge rainbow poster to put in our window. When I explained to her that making people feel happier could strengthen their immune systems, which would make it easier for them to combat the virus, she was elated and felt empowered. We’ve been engaging in acts of kindness ever since and it’s helped my kids tremendously. I’m hoping this book inspires other kids to do the same.
MM: This book is really gorgeous! How did you find the illustrator?
JR: Thank you! The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) showcases many illustrators’ work, and I used that site to find my illustrator. I saw samples of her work on SCBWI, looked at her website, and reached out. I think the key is finding someone whose style fits what you’re going for. I had a clear vision of what I wanted for “Bailey Bloom and the Battle of the Bug” and Judy’s use of watercolors and the whimsical nature of her drawings fit perfectly.
MM: Why did you decide to self-publish?
JR: When I first wrote the book, I explored the idea of going the traditional publishing house route but I quickly learned that, for the most part, if timing is an issue, self-publishing is a better option. While self-publishing involves a steep learning curve, I have zero regrets. It gave me more control over the creative process, and I was able to get the book out as schools are contemplating reopening plans and parents are looking for ways to discuss the pandemic with their kids.
MM: How have you gone about promoting this book and what sort of feedback have you gotten?
JR: For the most part, I’ve been posting on social media and getting the word out to friends. I’ve also been doing Zoom readings, which has been a great way to engage with kids and give parents a preview of the book. Parents are expressing how much “Bailey Bloom” has helped them talk to their children about Covid-19 and kids are saying how much they love the characters, especially when they’re dressed up as superheroes and flying on unicorns. The biggest shock came when I learned that my book made it to #2 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the children’s emotions and feelings category. It all feels like a dream.
MM: What topics might you cover in future books?
JR: That’s a great question. I am hoping to make “Bailey Bloom” into a series, with each book providing lessons children can take with them. I have read many children’s books since becoming a mom eight and a half years ago, and I’ve learned that kids resonate with fun, highly illustrated books with a powerful, heartfelt message. I am not sure what the next topic will be, but I will probably be guided by what I personally want to discuss with my kids at that moment.
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to discuss?
JR: I host a legal podcast called “The Whole Truth with Jill Rosensweig,” so I’m excited to continue working on that. I am also writing a novel, which I hope to release in 2021. Other than that, I am busy with my kids, who have been home since March, and I’m excited for the next “Bailey Bloom” idea to strike so that I can get started on the next installment.
To purchase a copy of “Bailey Bloom and the Battle of the Bug,” see here.