Cover Image: Bonyo Bonyo

Bonyo Bonyo

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I’m always fascinated by the intelligences that being showcased by those black skinned people, but unfortunately, because of their endless poverty and war, they couldn’t continue their desired education or job/s. 

Description: In this book, the main character – Bonyo Bonyo from Kenya – even though he’s living in lack of basic necessities, he’d enjoyed a bit of fun that being offered in his village by playing soccer with his friends and listening to his grandmother’s folktales. What really drove him to become a doctor was after the death of his little sister and his determination. Some people will know that schools in Africa were just a few and located in a very long distance from their dwellings, and imagine that one have to walk on barefoot for a few hours, or sometimes, a few days! Bonyo were eager to go to school, but unfortunately, he didn’t have the money to pay for the yearly school fee that costs a dollar! Then, his opportunity came when someone was eager in helping him to go to school. In school, he’s such a bright student and excelled in a few subjects, including soccer too. With his good grades, he went to a Catholic boarding school – in FOC – and given good meals every day. His parents too were supportive on succeeding his journey, especially when his mother allowed him to go to the school and his father helped him to earn money by selling his favorite radio, whereas Bonyo too was working very hard just like his father, by showing his letter of acceptation to the villagers and involving himself in every job that were being offered. He finally made his way to America at the age of 17 and of course, he didn’t forget his sole promise – to build a clinic in his hometown. 

Conclusion: ‘I would say to all children, follow your dream. Don’t let anything stand in the way. Others will help you if they see you’re determined. But if you need courage, look inside yourself – you’ll find it there.’
Was this review helpful?
I loved the unique artwork in this book, as well as how the story worked. The basis for the story is inspiring. This would be a wonderful book for shared reading.
Was this review helpful?
BONYO BONYO is a beautifully illustrated children's story about a boy born in a village in Kenya. His parents could not afford to send him to school.  A kind teacher told Bonyo Bonyo that he would teach him for free, if he could get to the school. Bonyo Bonyo endured many hardships, but with hard work and determination he made his dream come true. He became a doctor and came back to his village in Kenya and founded a clinic. This inspirational  book is suitable for all ages. 
5 stars ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️

Thanks to author Vanita Oelschlager, Kristen Blackwood (Illustrator), Mike Blanc (Illustrator), Vanita Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book and write an unbiased review. 

Posted to Goodreads, and NetGalley April 7, 2020
Was this review helpful?
It is challenging for an author to self-publish and I admire Ms Oelshlager. As she continues to write her writing will improve.
Was this review helpful?
This was a very, very short story but a powerful one. I can not imagine having the strength to do what Bonyo's parents did. Nor will I ever be capable of the determination Bonyo showed. He is an incredible source of inspiration. 

I will buy this book when it comes out and I encourage you do too, since all net profits will be used to fund his medical practice and mission.
Was this review helpful?
Both my daughter and I loved this book. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is endearing and inspiring. 

I would prefer for the story to have a Kenyan author but overall it was enjoyable none the less
Was this review helpful?
I've had a lot of success with Oelschlager's books, and this was no exception: it was a lot of fun, as well as informative, and interesting book, beautifully illustrated by Blackwood and Blanc. It's a mini-biography of a young boy who was living in Kenya in Eastern Africa, a country lying just below what's known as the horn of Africa. The boy's name is Bonyo Bonyo, and he loved to go to school That's not a given in Africa. Even if you can find a school, you may have to pay to go there.

These school fees may be cheap compared with what a paid education in the US costs, but people are impoverished there, and even what we consider to be a trivial amount in the US can be an insurmountable obstacle in the so-called third world. This is why we can do a lot by contributing even a little to charities which help with people in such situations. Bonyo had a hard time, and had to travel a long way to get his education, but he was determined.

He did so well in school that he got a chance to go to a college in the USA. All he needed was the airfare! Yikes. That was hard to come by, but through work and donations from friends and well-wishers, he eventually achieved his dream and became a doctor, and now he runs a clinic on his home town and also a practice in the USA. Spoiled as we are for good food, clean water, and a free education in the west, it's easy to forget that others are not so fortunate. It's sad that our millionaire president is too selfish and simple to grasp this. This book is an important reminder to those of us who are open to an education.

The book mentions a college in Texas, not a college in Ohio. While I can find no confirmation of the Texas college attendance, I did find an article online that lists the college he attended in Ohio as an osteopathic college. Such is not exactly a complete medical education. Osteopathy can provide some knowledge of human physiology, but it has only a limited application: to bone and muscle health. It's really not a lot of use for the great diversity inherent in practicing general medicine. In a way, it's a bit like chiropractic (and I could tell you a sorry tale about that!), but at least it wasn't homeopathy! However, that's not so important in a children's story because the take-home message here is one of enduring and triumphing, of courage and persistence, which Bonyo exhibited in spectacular fashion. On that basis I commend this as a worthy read.
Was this review helpful?
I love the new books focusing on famous people who aren't celebrities. Bonyo Bonyo is about a boy who fought hard for what he wanted. With the help of family and friends he succeeded.
A good story children should hear about not giving up on your dreams. Even if you fall down.
Was this review helpful?
I just loved this little book. It's a true story, a biography written for children, simply told and inspiring.
 Bonyo Bonyo was born in Western Kenya. When he was a boy his baby sister died because there was no clinic, no doctor or nurse in his village. After that loss, Bonyo Bonyo dreamed of becoming a doctor. He tells of all the obstacles he had to overcome, and how the people in his village helped him get the money to come to America for his education. Fifteen years later, he returned to Kenya to give back to his village in gratitude for what they had done for him. Now he is Dr. Bonyo Bonyo, and his village has a clinic with a nurse. 
The illustrations in the book are a real treat. They're brightly colored and atmospheric, especially the ones for the Kenya part of the story.
Was this review helpful?
Excellent! The illustrations are beautiful and evocative. The story is told in a way that a young reader would understand and appreciate. The book is sure to inspire.
Was this review helpful?
The art is very nice, expressive on top of being different to a lot of picture books stylistically, and Dr Bonyo's voice is consistent and his story engaging.
Was this review helpful?
"Harrambe", this book is the true depiction of what happens when a community pulls together to support the children and thus itself.  I truly enjoyed the story of Dr. Bonyo , and I look forward to reading about more amazing people and place from Vanita Oelschlager.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. It is written in a way that is easy for even young children to understand but was still enjoyable and inspiring for me to read as an adult.
Was this review helpful?
This is a wonderful true story that shows that dreams can come true. I loved the illustrations and the message of the story, but I felt the narrative was a bit distant.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars.

Bonyo Bonyo by Vanita Oelschlager is the uplifting tale of Dr. Bonyo Bonyo, a real doctor from a small village in Kenya. This picture book shows his journey from childhood to adulthood, from Kenya to the USA, and back to Kenya. 

This story really emphasises the importance of getting an education and following your dreams, no matter how far away they may seem, and it shows us how we can achieve anything, especially when we work together within our communities. Dr. Bonyo's story is an important one, and it is worth reading here. The illustrations really bring the story to life, and I have to say they were probably my favourite aspect of this book. I think the writing style was a little too passive, but the story was interesting enough to help move it along.

I would definitely recommend Bonyo Bonyo to anyone looking for a good picture book about a real person, or anyone hoping to share the story of Dr. Bonyo Bonyo with the children in their lives.
Was this review helpful?
This was a moving story about the life of a doctor from Kenya, and how he went from the poorest village to contributing back to his people. It is such a motivational story to read, and also gives children an idea of all that they take for granted here in the US. I recommend this book for parents to discuss culture and hardship with their children. Through this story, children can learn about dedication and hard work. They can also be inspired to do something for those who helped them. This book was very well written, nicely illustrated. I enjoyed reading it and talking to my own children about the hardships people go through in order to get an education.
Was this review helpful?
This is the biographical story of Bonyo Bonyo, a boy born in Kenya who became a doctor in the USA and returned to his country to build a medical clinic. The narration is too wordy for kids and some life events are narrated in a cold way, without giving anything to kids to cope with it while reading it.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the simple, elegant writing style of this book beautifully complemented by the rich illustrations. I also really enjoyed the book's message of determination and persistence. So often we see the 'white saviour' trope where a well-intentioned white man saves the poor little African boy but Bonyo Bonyo saves himself through the help of his village and by using his own initiative. I appreciated that when Bonyo achieved success, he came back and helped his own people. The fact this is all based on a true story and that proceeds from the sale of the book goes to support worthwhile causes makes the read all the more worthwhile.
Was this review helpful?
This is a true story about a Kenyan boy who was able to live out his dream of becoming a physician. It took a lot of courage, determination, and support from his family and strangers. His pursuit took him away from his family and country, but after years of study he was able to come back as a doctor and establish a much needed clinic.

This is a very inspiring story and a good one for all ages. That said, it’s a bit too wordy for a children’s book. It’s first person POV and beautifully written otherwise.
Was this review helpful?
4★
"The man said, ‘That is where I teach. If your parents will let you, you can come to my school. It will cost you nothing.’ He told me how I could get there in two days walking."

Bonyo Bonyo tells his story about growing up in Western Kenya in a small village in poverty. Like many kids he love playing soccer, but they just had a ball made of cloth stuffed with whatever they could find.

His grandmother used to tell the kids ghost stories, and Bonyo said he thought she probably wanted to frighten the kids so they'd be too scared to sneak outside at night and she could sleep without worrying about them.

Illustration of Grandma terrifying the children with ghost stories!

When Bonyo was a boy he decided he wanted to be a doctor, because his baby sister had died and nobody could help. He loved school but the family couldn't afford it, until he met a man who said he could go to the school where he was the principal.

Great! It's only a two-day walk to get there! WHAT? Two days???

Illustration of Bonyo carrying his few worldly goods to walk two days across country to school.

Long story short, he got there safely, he eventually was able to go to the United States to medical school, and came home to open a clinic named for his beloved mother.

Illustration of Doctor Bonyo visiting the clinic in Kenya

This is a wonderful biography for children to learn what it is to crave an education and what it is to have to "walk to school". This is longer and more detailed than other children's picture books, and there's quite a bit of writing. The illustrations are so bright that even little children will begin to enjoy hearing the story even before they're able to understand it all.

Thanks to NetGalley and Vanitabooks for the preview copy from which I've pinched a few pictures. It's another good one to add to classrooms and school libraries to help children learn about the world.
Was this review helpful?