30 YEARS IN THE MAKING: Bonnie Peugeot displays a copy of her recently published children’s book “The Adventures of Kimo.” Peugeot wrote the book more than three decades ago and published it earlier this year. Copies of “The Adventures of Kimo” are available for purchase online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AuthorHouse.com. (Staff photos by Steve Dickerson/sdickerson@madisoncourier.com)
30 YEARS IN THE MAKING: Bonnie Peugeot displays a copy of her recently published children’s book “The Adventures of Kimo.” Peugeot wrote the book more than three decades ago and published it earlier this year. Copies of “The Adventures of Kimo” are available for purchase online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AuthorHouse.com. (Staff photos by Steve Dickerson/sdickerson@madisoncourier.com)
Bonnie Peugeot came up with an idea for a children's book years ago, but it has taken more than three decades for that idea to become a published work.

Peugeot wrote her story for a creative writing class, and the storyline - as well as an illustrated draft of the book - has stayed with her ever since.

She had read a draft of the book - which included her own illustrations - to children over the years, but Peugeot always wanted to see the story in a final published form.

Last year, she decided to step out of her comfort zone to make the draft of her book, "The Adventures of Kimo," into a final published product.

The Trimble County art teacher has displayed her art work in a gallery setting several times and understands the time it takes to organize and create a show. Yet publishing a book was a little intimidating, she said.

"I took a chance," Peugeot said, noting she's always believed that a person makes their own destiny.

Peugeot began working with AuthorHouse, a self-publishing company, for minor edits to the story before the company published the story in a paperback book, as well as in the e-book format.

She also worked with another artist to fill her children's book with colorful pictures. An artist herself, Peugeot had an idea of what she wanted the book's illustrations to look like, and book illustrator Joshua Allen even based some of the pictures off of Peugeot's draft drawings.

But Peugeot admits the cartooning style of children's books isn't her forte. She is more comfortable with traditional and classic works and mixed media art forms.

Still, the publication of her book allows her to show students there can be more to art than just creating a painting. Although she didn't use her own artwork for the illustrations, Peugeot used another creative outlet - writing - to express herself.

"I wanted to bring back Mayberry in a way," Peugeot said. "The days of not locking your doors at night."

The story is based on the travels of Kimo, who lives with his large family on Glacamore Island.

Kimo, a young adventurer, sets out in his canoe to another mysterious island near his home where he finds a new parrot friend - and a not-so-friendly giant ape.

The book features the idea of random acts of kindness, while also alluding to issues with bullying, she said.

Although the book was written with an audience of children in mind, different age levels can take away different concepts from the story, she said.

"It's about good choices," she said of the book. "Evil is always corrected."

Even though she had reservations about the publishing process at first, Peugeot doesn't expect the last page of the book to be the end of her writing career. She already has three other books about Kimo's adventures written and ready for publication. She just doesn't have a production timeline for the series in mind yet.

"It all depends on how well this one is received," she said.