Today is Sweetest Day, and I could think of no better author to invite than Lindsay Boniilla, the author of I Love You with All of My Hearts!
This charming and clever book is filled with so much affirmation and love. Written with a recurring “I love you with all of my,” it cycles through ears, noses, toes, stripes and more. Paired with adorable creatures from the animal kingdom who boast exceptional examples of each of these, this book is perfect for Sweetest Day. As a great add-on, the final page explains the benefits of all the exceptional qualities of the featured animals. Best of all? I Love You with All of My Hearts sends a strong message of unconditional love.
Animals come in many shapes and sizes—some have large ears, others have distinctive noses, and still others have far too many eyes! They express emotions in different ways, too, but one thing remains the same: love.
“. . . whimsical conjunctions of a variety of animals will afford a lively bedtime conversation, aided by a useful glossary at the end with fun facts about all the animals depicted. . . Playfully shows that love comes in all shapes and sizes.” — Kirkus
Lindsay Bonilla is a professional storyteller, who has shared stories and taught workshops all over the world. She is especially passionate about creating relationships across cultures while inspiring the imagination. For example, she spent a year and a half in Spain and Portugal teaching English through theater. Isn’t that wonderful?
I Love You with All of My Hearts is Lindsay’s second book, and she has three more on the way. I’m especially looking forward to The Storyteller, which is being released by Nancy Paulsen Books in 2022. Lindsay lives in North Canton, Ohio with her husband, dog Blitzen, and two sons, who happily brainstorm story ideas during Lego play.
So, now that you know more about Lindsay, let’s turn things over to her and find out What Was On her…
Schedule for Sweetest Day: So for the first time maybe ever, I actually have a plan for Sweetest Day! My sister and brother-in-law are taking my kids for the day so my husband and I can have our first date in what has literally been over a year! We’ve both been too busy to even plan what our day is going to look like, but I’m hoping some outdoor fun if the weather is nice, and a delicious dinner, maybe at a new Jamaican restaurant in our area!
Mind While Writing I Love You with All of my Hearts: My kids for sure! I used to do a funny thing with my oldest son where I’d tell him, “I love you with all of my ears,” then rub my ear on his head. Or “I love you with all of my toes,” and tickle him with my toes. I was always adding different parts to make him laugh and also to communicate how much I loved him!
When I started thinking about what I would want the book to look like, that’s where the animals came in. So I think the next thing on my mind was, “Animals are so amazing!” I’ve always been an animal lover so it was so much fun to look for and research the perfect animals to pair with my text.
Favorite Animal in I Love You with All of my Hearts: This is such a tough question! Each of these animals is so amazing. But I think I’m going to have to go with the octopus. The more I learn about this animal, the more amazed I am. (Shout-out to My Octopus Teacher on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should!) I think it’s awesome that they have three hearts, and if the world needs anything right now, it’s more heart!
Pitch for The Storyteller: So I honestly can’t remember writing a pitch for this story. What I do remember is setting out to write a story that would celebrate the art of oral storytelling. In the end, it turned into a story celebrating the power that storytelling has to tie us together and to give us hope. My hope is that it will encourage people to TELL stories together – folktales, fairy tales and personal stories. My grandma passed away, but I can still remember some of the random stories she told me about her own youth — like how she loved boxing and how she chipped her tooth when some kid pushed her at the drinking fountain. Those little details may seem inconsequential in the long run, but they brought us closer together because she trusted me with her stories.
Last Brainstorming Session with Her Sons: My kids are both in school now (one full-day and one half-day) so we don’t have the same amount of time for our brainstorming sessions as before. But lately, I branched out and started writing my first MG novel. I read them a chapter each night after dinner and get their feedback. They know I am aiming for 1,000 words a day. Sometimes when I pick my oldest up from school, his first words to me are, “How did it go, Mom? Did you hit your goal for the day?” I love how invested both my kids are in the process. It makes me feel like I’m winning even if something I write doesn’t get published.
Last Workshop: My last workshop was a virtual workshop for librarians called “Indoors, and Outdoors, and Zoom! Oh My! – Flexible Storytelling for the 21st Century.” The main emphasis of the workshop was on how to do interactive storytelling – storytelling that gets the audience involved through kinesthetic and oral participation – in all sorts of settings and platforms.
Mind Today: Getting back out there to do book fairs and school visits! I am starting to get my first requests for in-person visits again, and I’m very excited. I’ll be telling a Puerto Rican folktale entirely in Spanish to Spanish 1 and 2 students at a local high school at the end of the month, then sharing my books at an elementary school later that week! The following week I’ll be taking part in the Buckeye Book Fair, an event celebrating Ohio authors. I have really missed interacting with my audiences and am SO hopeful that this is just the beginning – that authors everywhere can begin to get out there safely to connect with their readers again!
I hope it’s just the beginning too, Lindsay. I really hope so! Thank you for sharing your Sweetest Day with us. I hope you got your time outdoors and the Jamaican meal. I got a long walk with my dog, Hailey, which was very sweet indeed.
If you would like to order I Love You with All of My Hearts, click on the book below.
Stay tuned for later in the month when Aimée Sicuro will be giving us the inside story on her gorgeous illustrations and telling us what inspired her most when she first read The Stuff Between the Stars.
If you would like to know more about me and my writing, please visit sandranickel.com.