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  • Tara Crutchfield

Goodnight Lakeland

“Goodnight, Mister Fish and Polk Museum of Art, too.

Goodnight, Library.

See you at storytime soon.”

– Goodnight Lakeland By Ida Mundell and Josh “Bump” Galletta



Have you read Lakeland’s unofficial bedtime story, Goodnight Lakeland? The children’s book, penned by Ida Mundell and illustrated by Josh “Bump” Galletta, is an ode to the Swan City and a perfect local gift for the upcoming holiday season.


Mundell and her husband, Nate, have four kids: Aurora, Eleanor, Ezra, and August. The homeschool mom of four is also a children’s Kids Pastor at Access Church. The family moved to Lakeland about 20 years ago.


Galletta and his wife Mary have two kids, Emmersyn and Fynn. He is a commercial artist and illustrator with artwork in places like Starbucks and Haus 820.


Ida and Bump met several years ago through her store, A Kind Place, formerly in Dixieland. “It was all fair trade, give back, and locally made,” said Mundell of the retail concept she plans to start back again when she isn’t busy homeschooling her children. Looking for more local artists to feature in A Kind Place, Mundell said, “I mustered the courage to ask Bump if he would put art in my shop.” It was one of the first retail spots Galletta sold his art. The two families became fast friends and shared a connection of art and community.


The thought to write a children’s book first occurred to Mundell while on vacation in 2018. “I called him immediately because I wouldn’t want anyone else to draw it,” she said. Galletta started sketches after their initial phone call. As it often goes, the two got busy with life and shelved the project. Last summer, looking to produce something positive in such tumultuous times, Galletta’s wife, Mary, encouraged them to finish it. “I made it a goal where every day I focused on one page and sent it to Ida,” said Galletta.


In November 2020, they finished Goodnight Lakeland and selfpublished the book. It was delivered the week after Thanksgiving. Goodnight Lakeland sold out by Christmas last year, and when they had a book signing on August 21 at Pressed, they sold out within a day.


A BOOK OF GOOD MEMORIES

Goodnight Lakeland is about nostalgic and significant locations around the city, accompanied by Bump’s signature black and white illustrations. Mundell said, “The book is full of our favorite traditions and memories. […] It’s an ode to our families’ favorite things. Lakeland is special. People love the place of Lakeland and feeling at home everywhere they go, and that’s the vibe of the book, what we wanted it to be.”


“Home and place are important, I think. […] Feeling placement, feeling like you can walk in somewhere and somebody knows who you are. Being seen, known, and loved is verbiage I use through my ministry and with my own family and everywhere. The book is a little extension of that,” Mundell said. “I think it’s really important that you have a place in a world where everything is changing.”


Subjects of the book include everything from Circle B Bar Reserve to Silvermoon Drive-in and everything in between. Bump said he drew the Sputnik Tower because that was the first recognizable landmark to his family when they first moved to the city. Every page is filled with words and drawings of memories and traditions for Mundell and Galletta.


“I’m not from Lakeland. It took me a while to get used to it when I first moved here twelve years ago. It slowly became a place we loved,” Galletta said. Lakeland has become home to the family, and Galletta said it is special to tell its story with Mundell’s words and his drawings. “It’s fun that she asked me to do it,” he said.


The Goodnight Lakeland author and illustrator often receive pictures of grandparents reading it to their grandchildren, kids carrying it around town, realtors gifting it to new homeowners, and parents sending it to their children going to college out of state. They’ve also heard from the parents of children with autism who say their kids love to carry the book and match it to their surroundings around the city. “They share those stories, and that means everything when they take the time, and they’re so excited to say, ‘Our kid loves this book,’ or ‘We read it every night,’ or ‘That’s the book they pick off the bookshelf,’” said Mundell.


Galletta said, “People will say, ‘This is where we got married,’ or ‘This is where we met.’ I’ve had a lot of fun encounters hearing those stories.”


And of course, Galletta, who often hides free artwork for people around town and places he travels, hid a few ‘Easter eggs’ in Goodnight Lakeland too. If you find one, tell Bump! “I like to wait and see if anyone’s discovered them,” he said. The project inspired Galletta’s daughter to make a book of her own, a creative process he’s been working with her on.



HOW YOU CHANGE THE WORLD

Alongside Goodnight Lakeland, Mundell and Galletta collaborated with Lakeland-based handmade accessory company East of These to create a baby blanket featuring Galletta’s black and white artwork. You can pick up one of these adorable gifts at any pop-up markets that Galletta attends, including Buena Market and Haus MRKT, or on his website (hurry, amounts are limited).


Mundell thought about her bookish breakout and said, “Something I tell my kids and something I have to remind myself of is that it’s okay to be a beginner. […] I think there’s so much anxiety in the creative world that you have to be there already, that you have to know everything, that you have to have every answer.” She continued, “We stop the process from ever beginning, and that makes me sad because how many great things are we missing out on? I would take an all heart, beginner product over someone who thinks they are the best of the best all the time. I like the hustle and the heart and the passion behind the project.”


For Bump, the success of their grassroots, self-published book was a reassurance of community love. “It shows how much the community does care for each other,” he said.


Follow their social media for future opportunities to meet the Goodnight Lakeland author and illustrator. They plan to read their book during storytime at Pressed. Bump will have copies available at the many holiday markets he’ll be attending. Expect more projects from the duo (perhaps even something in color) in the future. Mundell said, “I do love writing and communicating, and I love storytelling. I love listening to storytelling. I love sharing stories. I think that is how you change the world if you can share captivating stories and invite people to listen.”


You can pick up a copy of Goodnight Lakeland at Pressed Books & Coffee, Galletta’s upcoming pop-up markets, or his website, www.bumpgalletta.com.


Goodnight Lakeland

Author: Ida Mundell

FB: Ida Mundell

IG @idamundell


Illustrator: Bump Galletta

FB: Bump Galletta

IG @bumpgalletta


Photograph by Amy Sexson

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