John Williams’ Debut Book
No matter how old you get, you need a good friend. Learning to stick together and lean on each other’s strengths is the message from the dynamic duo in John Williams’ debut children’s book, Adventures with Raymond and Bonnie: The Deserted Cottage. Living in rural Billsborough County, a young robin called Raymond and his best friend Bonnie, a blue tit, get into all sorts of adventures. Raymond is plucky, brave and (surprisingly for a robin) well-read. What Bonnie lacks in knowledge, she makes up for with common sense. She is always right but tends to be nosy and sometimes lacks concentration.
In The Deserted Cottage, we see the young pals waking with the firm intention of spending another day having fun. It’s midwinter and they often visit nearby Fir Cottage, where they can expect food and fresh water provided by nice old Mr Digweed. One snowy December day, Raymond and Bonnie find the cottage deserted with no sign of food or water. Initially, they are just concerned about Mr Digweed’s health. However, later that day, they discover that the forlorn-looking cottage has attracted the interest of two suspicious-looking strangers.
Who are these intruders and what, exactly, do they want? How can two little birds help Mr Digweed and protect Fir Cottage? Where will they find help? Unfortunately, there is also a threat to the birds’ habitat! They might have to move away from the countryside they love so much. Far from being fun, this turned out to be a very challenging day that the little feathered friends will never forget.
Raymond and Bonnie
John Williams explains: “As part of the first year of my history degree course, I had to study an ‘elective’ humanities subject for one semester. I chose “Writing for Children” and with no previous experience, I was tasked with authoring a short story of around 5,000 words. My tutor, himself a published author, liked my Raymond and Bonnie story and believed there was scope to develop other stories involving this feathered pair. I was enthused by the experience and have since written another Raymond and Bonnie adventure.”
Ideal for ages 7 to 9, this charming tale illustrated by Simon Goodway will have all young readers flocking around to hear what Raymond and Bonnie get up to next!
- Publisher: Troubador (10 January 2023)
- Language: English
- Paperback: 32 pages
- ISBN-10: 1803135301
- ISBN-13: 978-1803135304
- Reading age: 7 – 9 years
- Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.2 x 19.81 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 990,123 in Books (see Top 100 in Books); 27,680 in Children’s Fiction Books on Animals
About the Author:
In 2018, John Williams retired from a lengthy career as a financial advisor. He immediately enrolled at Wrexham Glyndŵr University to study history, gaining a BA (Hons) degree in 2021. John, a grandfather of two boys, has written a sequel that involves Raymond and Bonnie in further adventures.
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Feature image is by Simon Goodway, who has provided all the illustrations for the book.