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"You're too nice," says Amy's best friend, Kate. Amy's not sure what "too nice" means, but she sure knows how it feels: rotten. She's tired of giving her things away, tired of getting stuck with the jobs nobody wants, and tired of feeling angry and sad. But with a little help and practice, she starts learning how to be friendly yet take care of herself at the same time. Soon she discovers that when she stops being "Too Nice Amy," everyone is happier: including Amy!
With more than 100 published articles in regional and national magazines and in anthologies including Cup of Comfort for Women, she facilitates workshops for school, agency and community organizations including the Tucson Writers Project, ArtsReach working with Native Americans, KARE agency for children raised by grandparents, and the Hopi Foundation’s Owl and Panther: Writing from the Darkness program working with torture survivors and their children. She is on the artist roster of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The teacher resource she co-wrote with Joan Daniels, The Folded Spiral in the Classroom, is available online at Exceptional Student Store.
Bonnie Matthews taught herself illustration while she was a student of graphic design at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to the many children's books she has illustrated, her whimsical people and animals have appeared in more than 100 magazines worldwide, and on gift wrap, greeting cards, tin cans, and even the cover of the Lands' End Kids catalog.
Ms. Matthews donates part of her efforts to concerns and organizations she cares about, such as the Baltimore Zoo, the Wilderness Society, and Johns Hopkins Children's Center. She lives in Baltimore and is a frequent speaker at local schools, where she encourages children to draw and follow their creative aspirations. "I have a special interest in children's books," she says, "because I think that pictures help promote reading, and I personally had a difficult time learning to read."