Book Review: ‘Born to Sparkle’ encourages kids to dream big
By Melissa Arnold
Megan Bomgaars was born feet first on Thanksgiving Day in 1992, and if you ask her mom Kris, Megan hit the ground running and hasn’t stopped since. Bomgaars was born with Down syndrome, and from an early age wanted to spread the word about acceptance and equal opportunities for all kinds of people.
The 29-year-old Denver native was among seven young adults with Down syndrome who shared their lives with America in the A&E docuseries Born This Way. The show went on to win an Emmy Award in 2016 for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.
A motivational speaker and self-advocate, Bomgaars is also the owner of the online fashion company Megology.com and teamed up with Sanrio’s Hello Kitty to create a fashionable clothing line in 2018.
These days, Bomgaars, whose motto is “Don’t Limit Me!’, is focusing on one of her greatest passions: writing. Her first book, “Born to Sparkle: A Story About Achieving Your Dreams,” teaches kids that all of us are unique and have something special to share with the world and if you dream big and work hard, you can achieve anything.
The uplifting storyline coupled with adorable animal illustrations by Pete Olczyk that sparkle on every page make the book a fun and charming pick for early readers.
TBR News Media recently had the opportunity to speak with Bomgaars about her new venture as an author.
Megan, were you always a creative person? Did you write stories when you were little?
I was always a creative person with lots of singing and dancing. As I got older and learned to write and type, I began writing in my journal every day. I would write about my dreams and goals. And some of them even come true – like publishing my Born to Sparkle book!
Did you like school? What was your favorite subject?
I loved going to school with my friends. I was a cheerleader in high school and got to do lots of activities and social stuff with them. I’m still friends with my girls and love them! My favorite subject was science. I also really liked writing in high school too.
Did you always want to write a book?
I have wanted to write a book ever since I was at a conference in Nashville and saw one of the other keynote speakers selling and autographing his book after his speech. Since then, it’s been my goal to be able to do the same thing someday, and now I can.
What is the book about?
Born to Sparkle is about following your dreams, and never giving up, and learning everything you can even when it’s hard. I think that this book is important because it teaches kids to follow their dreams and work hard. I also think it’s inspirational for people of all ages to read.
How long did it take to publish?
My book took about a year to publish, and the release date was pushed back for a year because of the pandemic.
Did you use a publisher or self-publish?
I published my book with Flowerpot Press. When I met them, they believed in me, and they were the best in giving my words a meaning that can be passed to others. We are going to continue to work together in the future to spread more positivity.
What did you like about putting the book together?
My favorite part was being able to work with the illustrator Pete Olczyk and giving him feedback on the final art. He was super in tune with what my message was. I loved the sketches of the artwork from the very first time I saw it. We were the perfect team!
Did you always want to use animals as characters in the book instead of people?
I liked the animals because it was a children’s book and I thought it made it more fun. Plus these animals have courage and are fearless!
What was it like when you got the finished book?
I was very proud of my book and everyone who made it possible. Getting to publish my own story was one of my biggest dreams, and hopefully it will inspire everyone who reads it.
Is the book recommended for a specific age group?
Born to Sparkle is for young children, but I also think it would be a great replacement for a card or gift for anyone who has worked hard to accomplish anything, like a baby shower or graduation.
Do you want to write other books in the future?
I’m going to be working on a book that I hope to title Born to be Brave. I have met so many very brave people in the last several years who have inspired me, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned with others.
I know you are doing a lot of different things for the Down Syndrome community right now. What else are you involved in?
The organization that I support is called the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. I am committed to helping fund research for people with Down syndrome. This research also helps people with cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, and so much more. I have also participated in research studies myself that will lead to improving the lives of people with Down syndrome, both for people living today and those babies who haven’t even been born yet.
Stay up to date with Megan Bomgaars at her official website, www.Megology.com, and follow her on Instagram @meganbomgaars. Born to Sparkle is available online at www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.amazon.com.