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 is an artist who 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. She worked for many years as an exhibit designer where she had the pleasure of contributing to projects for NASA, National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institution. She traveled all the way around the world… twice! Whenever she gets the chance, she still enjoys her wandering nature.

(Portrait by Tamela Kemp Photography)

Bonnie is represented by Liz Nealon at Great Dog Literary.


Ryan G. Van Cleave, Only Picture Books Blog, March 13, 2023. Author Illustrator Interview: Bonnie Kelso.

Hey Las Vegas by City Cast Newsletter, March 6, 2023. Get to Know Mountain’s Edge.

Channel 3 News, November, 13, 2022. New Mural Unveiled at East Las Vegas Community Center.

The Warren Group, July 15, 2022. Artist Bonnie Kelso to Design Downtown Summerlin Mural

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!

Clark County NV, May 12, 2021. “Songbirds of Hope,” created by local artist and youth group.

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

Rocio Hernandez, Las Vegas Review Journal. November 10, 2016. Spirit of Art Group to showcase work at Nov. 18th fundraiser at McMullan’s Irish Pub.

Cindy Payne, Las Vegas Review Journal, February 7, 2009. Artists showcase their work at Neonopolis.

Corey Levitan, Las Vegas Review Journal, September 18, 2008. Following Her Art.


Bonnie Kelso, March On With Mentor Texts (MOWMT), March 12, 2023. MOWMT Day #12: Bonnie Kelso Finds the Funny – Cultivating Humor in Your Informational Fiction Picture Book Manuscript.

Ryan G. Van Cleave and Bonnie Kelso, Only Picture Books, July 4, 2022. Picture Book Review: Life In Hot Water by Mary Batten.

Ryan G. Van Cleave and Bonnie Kelso, Only Picture Books. November 2, 2020. Picture Book Review: Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes.

HONORS and Awards

Mural Designer for 1700 Pavilion Parking Structure, Summerlin, Las Vegas, NV.

Muralist for East Las Vegas Community Center, Las Vegas, NV.

Muralist for Paseo Verde Library, Henderson, NV.

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

Grant recipient: 2016 – 2023

SCBWI Nevada Regional Picture Book Critique Group Coordinator

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

2022 PBParty Finalist, QUAIL TRAIL

2021 PBParty Finalist, LION ART


2021 Fall Writing Frenzy Finalist, PERSEPHONE RISING

2022 Fall Writing Frenzy Finalist, AUTUMN

2021 Halloweensie Honorable Mention, ALL HALLOWS EVE AT THE ROLLER RINK