“There’s a package for me?!” our daughter excitedly looks up at us.
“Yes!” we say in equally animated voices.
“Open it! Open it PLEASE!”
As we tear into the package her eyes twinkle and are immediately drawn to the wonderful illustrations on the cover of three Bonnie Lady Lee books: The Down Under Salad Bowl, Little Gift, and Go Go Sadie.
These books contain exotic animals that are extremely well rendered and are wonderfully colorful. The beautiful pictures hold our daughter’s attention and the stories are full of facts about our furry (or not so furry) friends. We discuss the facts and lessons with our daughter as we go through each. And at the end of the books there are even pages where you can color the the animals that are in the story. Overall, the experience is highly educational and entertaining for our little girl.
Little Gift is a story about a panda who lives in a zoo. The panda is hungry and his friends offer him food, but he only wants bamboo. We ask our daughter what bamboo is and she tells us it is long, skinny trees. Not an earth-shattering fact, but our three year old had no idea what bamboo was before we started the story. The Down Under Salad Bowl is about Karri the Koala who is a picky eater (like our girl!), which gave us the perfect opportunity to discuss why trying new foods is so important. When she gets older, we can discuss why it is important for Sadie the Sloth in Go Go Sadie to finish the jungle run even though she can’t win. So these books will continue to teach her years in the future.
As parents in this era of technology, we are always looking for ways to balance the lure of a video screen and “real world interactions.” Be it sports, painting, crafts, books, or something else, we are always on the lookout for a non-electronic activity she can learn from and enjoy. Bonnie Lee’s books certainly fulfill this wish. We also love to support local businesses and chose Bonnie’s books, in part, because she lives in San Luis Obispo. This fact also allowed us to sit down with her to discuss her background and her writing.
Bonnie is originally from New York City and lived in the San Francisco bay area for many years. She now resides and writes in San Luis Obispo. She has had a passion for writing since childhood and decided to make a career out of it. She started writing children’s books in 2006 and has six in print: Momo Come Home, Bonita the Fruit Bat Counts to Ten, Whirling Twirling Time, Go Go Sadie, The Down Under Salad Bowl, and Little Gift. Bonnie’s inspiration comes from the unique animals she sees on her many travels. Currently, Bonnie is working on bringing an app called Oliver’s Amazing Arms into book form.
She has expanded her horizons and has a software company that creates interactive apps that teach early reading. Her apps can be found on iTunes. Remember, we said balance, so our daughter does get time on a smart device. It is strictly monitored and she gets to use apps like the one on Bonnie’s site. The reason we like Bonnie’s apps is a feature she calls “tap-and-hear.” Our daughter can tap any word on the screen and it is read aloud to her. This is a valuable little tool is helping our daughter begin to read.
Bonnie represents a special find in the children’s literature world. Our daughter loves animals in general and these books in particular because the illustrations are absolutely fantastic. As she grows older, the life lessons that the stories contain will continue to keep her captivated. These facts give the books a wide audience. Children of different ages are able to gain varying experiences from the books depending on their developmental stage. We have no doubt that our daughter will continue to love and appreciate these books far into the future.
Thank you, Bonnie, for your time and for sharing with our community.
We hope your family enjoys Bonnie Lee’s books as much as ours does!
Chris & Christy