It’s been nearly a century since The Little Engine That Could first charmed children with its cheerful smile and can-do attitude. These days, kids love characters such as Thomas the Tank Engine and the cast of “Toy Story,” all of whom continue the tradition of entertaining young minds while teaching fundamental lessons about overcoming life’s challenges.
Author and Air Force wife Liesl Ross just published her children’s book to help kids –like her own who are growing up on military bases– cope with a challenge that’s especially familiar to families in the armed services: moving to a new home.
The Colorado native and daughter of Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO), wanted to tell a story that would resonate for the kids on the base. The hero of Ross’ story is also a kid who’s faced with moving away from the only friends and neighborhood she has ever known. And like Thomas the Tank Engine, she’s also a vehicle with a cute smile.
Meet Bonnie the B-1 Bomber:
Bonnie B-One’s Supersonic Move is on a mission to show children the importance of being kind and brave no matter where life takes them! Bonnie B-One is a young United States Air Force B-1B bomber jet who must navigate the emotions that come with moving to a new home and making new friends. Readers of all ages will enjoy Bonnie’s adventure and lesson in resiliency. —Barnes & Noble overview
The B-1B Lancer is a supersonic heavy bomber that carries the largest payload of both guided and unguided munitions in the Air Force. It has served in combat over Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently in Syria. Initially designed to carry nuclear weapons, it was converted to strictly conventional use in the 1990s.
The Air Force currently retains an active inventory of 62 aircraft assigned to squadrons at Dyess AFB, Texas and Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, where Ross’ family resides.
Ross and her illustrator, airman Alexander Buchanan who is also stationed at the base, were featured in a story about their book last Friday by the Rapid City, South Dakota NBC affiliate.
The author talks about the challenges of moving from base to base, noting that her family has “gone through three deployments.” During the interview camera shows a wooden plaque hanging on the wall that reads “Home is where the Air Force sends us.”