As he became more involved in these efforts, Olivo realized he could combine his interest in the climate and his writing experience into a children's book. This idea culminated into Mommy, what's a Polar Bear?, a story about a girl named Clementine who lives in a world with no polar bears. When she finds an old book about one, she learns how they ceased to be, and how others could be saved from this fate. Initially, Olivo struggled with whether writing a book would make an impact, especially when he was surrounded by other activists involved in protests, climate law, and policy creation.
“I like writing, I can write, and I want to try to convince people climate change is something they should care about,” he said. “I wanted to do what I could, and I knew that writing was something I should keep doing,” he said.
The process of writing the book taught Olivo a lot about balancing the creative and mechanical aspects of writing. Creatively, he looked for inspiration from some of his favorite authors such as Dr. Seuss and Robert Munsch, who often use clever rhymes and humor in their children’s books.
He worked on the manuscripts throughout his time in the Dual BA Program, with a friend of his providing the illustrations. After spending years trying to find a publisher through traditional channels, Olivo decided to self-publish the book using Kickstarter. He launched the project last month and recently exceeded his goal of CA$17,500. With the funding secured, he will now be able to print and distribute the books to the project's backers. Afterward, his goal is to set up a printing on-demand service so anyone can order the book online. Going forward, Olivo hopes to keep writing, no matter what form that may take.
“I want to find a way to keep expressing something that I found out that I actually like doing,” he said.