Trimble County teacher
publishes first children’s book
Peugeot plans to create a series of books
with her character
(November 2014) – Trimble County High School art teacher Bonnie Peugeot has recently released “The Adventures of Kimo,” the first in a series of five children’s books. Veteran art teacher, Peugeot has been having her drawing classes write and illustrate a children’s book and poetry over the years so that they become aware that there are opportunities for both writers and illustrators.
Thirty years into doing this, Peugeot realized that she has been telling her students to “go for it,” but she hadn’t. She, too, had authored books that were as yet unpublished.
Thirty years ago, while teaching grade school, Peugeot had written her own story about a character named “Kimo” that she would read to the children. After the story, she’d then ask what they liked, or what they would’ve done different. And from their feedback, she polished and tweaked Kimo’s story over the years.
“I was not confident in myself,” said Peugeot, 58. “It took 30 years to find out who I am and the confidence within myself to go for it. The opportunity arose, and I grabbed the brass ring.”
In other words, she finally published her first book. “I want to be remembered as a person who had tenacity. I didn’t give up hope.”
Gary Pruett, currently mayor of Mitchell, Ind., was working at Author House in Bloomington, Ind., when Peugeot first called and began the publication process. “Everybody has some kind of story to tell, and a book inside of them to publish, but most of us don’t have the time or courage to publish it, but Bonnie did,” Pruett said.
Photo by Lisa Newlin
Art teacher Bonnie Peugeot
is requesting adult and student volunteers from the community
to help complete the mural at Madison’s Crystal Beach swimming complex. Painting takes place
on Thursday afternoons.
“The Adventures of Kimo” is published by Author House. Books and Kindle editions can be purchased at: www.AuthorHouse.com, www.BarnesAndNoble.com and www.Amazon.com. A book signing is being planned in April 2015 at “That Book Place” in Madison, Ind., as well as a children’s story time at the Jefferson County Library. You can watch and listen to Peugeot reading an excerpt from the book at: http://youtu.be/9qio5IgpMwA.
Peugeot says that it’s a fun-loving book that contains “hidden messages” about making the right decisions, and that it’s OK to have friends that others wouldn’t have chosen for you. Peugeot says that it’s your heart, your true heart, that if you listen to it, you will make good decisions, that you make bad decisions when you listen to others. Adults can easily see the deeper meanings, the kids learn while just enjoying the story.
The entire series of five books feeds your soul with talk of kindnesses, trusting others, diversity, selflessness instead of selfishness, and “paying it forward,” she says. Kids learn that if you do good things, it opens the way for good things to happen to you, and then you bloom as a person. In Kimo’s world, good always conquers evil.
Retired grade school teacher Vicki Mayfield said, “I taught first grade for 34 years, and in that time with the children, I often dealt with two major concepts that Bonnie brings up in the book: problem solving, and building trust through making friends.”
Mayfield said that “The Adventures of Kimo” would’ve been great in her classroom, and that the children would’ve embraced the characters. Teachers or parents can read the book, then talk to the children about expectations for making friends by asking questions like, “What would Kimo or Pia do in that situation? How would a friend do?” Teachers could also use the very relatable characters and their stories for plays, puppets, and just having fun.
The remaining four books of the Kimo series are written and ready to be published. Characters introduced in the first book are featured in the following books, and in each successive book, more characters are added as the previous ones are explored in more depth.
“It’s just like the circle of life: each book builds on and is a bit longer than the one before it,” Peugeot said. “In fact, inspiration for writing the Kimo series came from her past real life experience of being around a large family and watching how they interacted.
Peugeot is currently writing two more sets of children’s books and three adult books: a biography focusing on her experience as an adopted child titled, “You can’t Keep a Butterfly in a Jar,” a steamy romance novel titled, “He Takes My Breath Away,” and her parents’ love story.
Meantime, Peugeot has been overseeing the Crystal Beach Swimming Pool History of Madison [1939-2011] mural painting at the swimming complex. Area high school students painted during the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art in September. Inclement weather has thwarted work on it on more than one occasion over the past two years. She must also contend with the busy schedules of student volunteers.
Peugeot is calling out to area children and adults to help, even if they just come and finger-paint. Painting typically takes place from 4:30-5:45 p.m. Thursdays. Anyone putting in more than 30 hours of work on the mural gets a community service award, and there is to be a pool party for volunteers when the mural is finished. Interested volunteers can connect with Peugeot at the Trimble County High School at (502) 255-7781.
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