Meet Bonnie

A way long time ago, Bonnie (a shy but curious child) once trod carefully past a mean pack of dogs to get to her art lesson. It was worth it! Bonnie writes and illustrates books for children and adults that encourage individualism and brave creative self-expression. Presently, she parents two young boys with whom she enjoys many real and imaginary adventures. She also serves and cares for a tortoise-shell cat and a Japanese cleaner shrimp. (Rest in peace, Jacques.)

Bonnie studied Fine Art at the Rhode Island School of Design. In her former adult life, she worked for many years as an exhibit designer where she had the pleasure of working on projects for NASA, National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institution. She traveled all the way around the world… twice! She still enjoys indulging her wandering nature whenever she gets the chance.

(Portrait by Tamela Kemp Photography)

HONORS and Awards

WINNER of the SCBWI 2021 Karen Cushman Award for chapter book work in progress, “Johnny Bell Baker and the Coal Mine.”

SCBWI Volunteer and Nevada Regional Picture Book Critique Group Coordinator

Nevada Arts Council Teaching Artist on the Roster for Schools and Communities.

Grant recipient: 2016 – 2022

WINNER 2021 for “Persephone Rises”

WINNER 2020 for “Autumn”

2021 FINALIST for “Lion Art”

2020 FINALIST for “As Young Groundhogs Do”

Cover art selected and poem inclusion in “Quinn’s Closet Monsters,” an anthology published by Make-A-Wish Foundation, ©2021.


Heather Cash Morris, “First Stories” series, January 10, 2022. First Stories Returns in 2022…Featuring Bonnie Kelso

Sandra Sutter, Gnome Road Publishing, October 19, 2021. The Art of NUDI GILL ~ A Short Q&A with Bonnie Kelso

Sandra Sutter, Gnome Road Publishing, May 17, 2021. A Welcome to Author-Illustrator Bonnie Kelso!

Amanda Davis, “Rising Stars” series, February 22, 2021. Meet Rising Star, Author-Illustrator Bonnie Kelso!