They say you can take a zebra out of Africa, but you can’t remove their stripes. Bonnie Friend, from Radlett in Hertfordshire, went in search of the reasons why and her discoveries have resulted in a delightful picture book for children to understand more about themselves.
How You Know You're a Zebra is a picture eBook for children about how the zebra discovers who he is by trying on the patterns of lots of different animals. It’s aimed at children aged 3-5 years old, but with a little something for parents to enjoy along the way!
The zebra takes a journey to find out what it’s like to live in other animal’s hides. He has a merry time trying on different outfits and seeing the world through other animals’ eyes. Only after he has trotted in their ‘hooves’ does he discovers that he looks best in his own stripes. And he learns to be comfortable in his own unique and wonderfully different skin. Bonnie believes this is a good way for children to accept themselves.
Bonnie has been a writer and editor for many years and trained in illustration. While working with lots of other books her desire to write kiddies books re-surfaced. She started working on her ‘zebra stripes’ concept and asked lots of parents and children to read it for their views.
After long and hard soul-searching Bonnie decided that she wanted to be in control of her story and illustrations. More than anything she wanted to give her story the opportunity to spread its wings so she chose to self-publish her book.
Through trial and error and lots of Googling, she finally worked out how to get her book published as an eBook on Kindle. She says that Kindle is easy to use once you have figured it out. Her mental barriers wasted more time than actually getting the eBook published on Kindle.
In only two weeks, Bonnie has sold 20 books and is working with local schools and parent associations to get her lovely book of self-discovery into the hands of more readers. Avid reader, Lee Mills, reported that his 3-year-old absolutely loves this book. Lee said: ‘It’s the first book and the last book we read at bedtime together. Great art work too. Brilliant, can't wait for the next one to come out!’
Bonnie loves to share a secret with her readers: she speaks Giraffe. One special little reader, Lucy (4), asked Bonnie how she learnt to speak Giraffe, When Bonnie said she honestly doesn’t know, it’s just one of those magical things that happen, Lucy replied with: ‘I know what you mean, I spoke to a dog once.’
If asked why she loves illustrating children’s books, Bonnie’s immediate reply is: ‘I love the imagination and open mindedness that you have as a child - anything is possible! My Dad always encouraged my brother and I to think outside the box. I strive to look for what is possible, not for what isn’t.’
Bonnie’s advice to other wannabe children’s book authors is to decide what you want to get out of your book and view it as a start rather than an end product. Bonnie said: ‘Take one step at a time, don’t be afraid – just go for it!’
Bonnie has listed her book in the Book Gallery on U Self-Publish. As well as a gallery of self-published indie authors and their self-published books, U Self-Publish offers writing advice to aspiring authors writing a book, information on how to self-publish their book on Kindle or in paperback and the ultimate aim, marketing their self-published book to get book sales.
For more information on Bonnie’s Zebra take a look at http://uselfpublish.com/content/how-you-know-youre-a-zebra