Kenilworth native Linda Petrie Bunch has been a photographer all her life, a passion fueled by her experience working on the yearbook at . So when she got a new Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Petrie Bunch wound up taking thousands of pictures of her. The result became the pages of A Snow Day for Hannah, a children’s book about a dog’s winter adventure that Petrie Bunch published in October.
“The story sort of popped right out of the pictures,” she said. “I put the images together and wrote a story to go with them.”
The book was originally meant just for her three grandchildren, but good response led her to think bigger and try to publish the book.
“That’s been an interesting experience,” she said. “There’s a lot to know about the publishing industry and starting from scratch has been a high learning curve. It’s pretty cutthroat.”
Petrie Bunch decided to self-publish her book, though she’s still seeking a publisher to pick it up to help with distribution.
“It’s a lot of work since you need to make a lot of contacts to book stores,” Petrie Bunch said. “It’s very time consuming.”
A Snow Day for Hannah is available in about 80 bookstores. Petrie Busch lives in Denver, Colorado and has sold the book throughout the state and Nevada, Utah and California. Her parents, Judy and Doug Petrie, have lived in Kenilworth for 47 years, and Petrie Bunch’s visits to them double as an opportunity to promote the book throughout the North Shore. in Winnetka, in Glencoe, in Northbrook and all sell her work.
The book has been selling very well, a fact Petrie Bunch partially attributes to her partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs. Petrie Busch was asked to be a judge for the group’s Colorado Youth of the Year award, and was so impressed with the non-profit she decided to join the leadership board of the Colorado Alliance.
“It gave me firsthand experience working with these kids, and Boys & Girls club is fabulous organization,” she said. “It really helps underprivileged kids.”
A portion of the proceeds from every book sale is donated to the organization, and she’s already given them about $2,000. A Snow Day for Hannah will be just the first in a series of books about the dog. Petrie Bunch has already taken all the pictures for A Beach Day for Hannah, which will be published May 1, and has ideas for future books.
“Unfortunately she doesn’t stay a puppy for too long,” Petrie Bunch said. “She’s growing fast. Hannah might have to have puppies.”
You can meet Petrie Bunch at a book signing at 3 p.m. Saturday at The Book Stall, where the book has been one of the best-selling books for kids ages 3-7 since it went on sale. She’s also doing book readings at and in Glenview Thursday, and in Wilmette and in Winnetka Friday.
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