Layla’s Big Bass

Our family’s combined interest in the sport/hobby of bass fishing, along with the need to have something to read to our daughter that translated that interest, is how everything came together.

Fish

Let me start off by emphasizing I am not a professional. I do not have a fiery passion to become a full-time angler. I do not eat, sleep and breathe fishing. I simply enjoy the sport of bass fishing. I love being outside, around water, in the sunshine (or in overcast conditions — that works for me, too), connecting to nature and to my family through a shared experience. Catching a giant is a huge incentive as well, let’s be honest.

Candidly, I have not always enjoyed fishing. I was an “only if it’s above 75, sunny, I have a raft, a cold beverage and snacks” kind of fisherwoman. It wasn’t until I met my husband that my interest in bass fishing even became a “thing.” So, for that, I have him to thank! When our first daughter was born, we had another excuse to get out on the water and share our joy of the outdoors with her. Taking a toddler fishing on a boat has its own challenges: life jacket struggles (literally, sometimes getting that thing on is a sport in and of itself!), packing ALL of the things (sunscreen, diapers, snacks, toys) and the beloved toddler meltdowns. Sometimes actually getting to fish gets put on the back burner, but overall, it is actually a great time! She loves being on the water, “driving” the boat, sitting in the waves, touching the fish we catch and learning to hold a rod. I love that we get to provide her with those kinds of wholesome experiences. It also doesn’t hurt that the sunshine and fresh air make for amazing naps!

Those naps are how the concept for Layla’s Big Bass really began. Her daddy or I read her a book for every nap; however, I could tell my husband was having a hard time reading stories to her about unicorns, rainbows and princesses. He was happy to do so regardless, but I knew he would enjoy reading something to her that he could relate to, so I started searching for fishing books. There are plenty that exist, but none specific to bass fishing and certainly none with a female as the main character. So, I got to work. After getting the storyline together, I found an amazing illustrator and a fantastic publishing agent and Layla’s Big Bass was born.

Essentially the book was created out of both interest and necessity. Our family’s combined interest in the sport/hobby of bass fishing, along with the need to have something to read to our daughter that translated that interest, is how everything came together.

It is empowering for little girls to see themselves depicted in storybooks doing an activity that has historically been dominated by men. I am proud to be a part of such a new concept within the industry, and I just hope it sparks a curiosity within other little girls to give the sport a try. Because, really, there’s nothing that truly compares to that tug on the line!

For more information about Layla’s Big Bass and to purchase a copy, please visit www.laurabartolozzi.com or on Amazon

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