Tony Bonning (1948–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1948, in Crosshill, Carrick, Scotland. Education: Studied engineering.
Agent—c/o Croig Police Close, 82 High St., Kirkudbright DG6 4JL, Scotland.
Journalist and author. Freelance writer, 1994–. Children's poet-in-residence, Taigh Chearsabhagh on North Uist March, 2001. Markings (poetry magazine, co-publisher; Galloway Children's Festival, founder and director.
Scottish Storytelling Centre.
Another Fine Mess, illustrated by Sally Hobson, Little Tiger Press (Waukesha, WI), 1998.
The Great Goat Cheese, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1999.
Stone Soup, illustrated by Sally Hobson, David &Charles Children's (London, England), 2001, published as Fox Tale Soup, Simon &Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2002.
Snog the Frog, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw, Bar-ron's (Hauppauge, NY), 2005.
Galloway, photographs by Allan Wright, Cauldron Press (Castle Douglas, Scotland), 1999.
Arran, photographs by Allan Wright, Cauldron Press (Castle Douglas, Scotland), 2002.
Scottish author and journalist Tony Bonning studied engineering before turning to writing full-time in 1994. In addition to his work penning children's books, he is also co-publisher of the poetry magazine Markings, and founded and directs the annual Galloway Children's Festival. Bonning's books for children include Another Fine Mess, Fox Tale Soup (published in Great Britain as Stone Soup), and Snog the Frog, the last a clever variation on the classic folk tale "The Frog Prince." Reviewing Fox Tale Soup, another folk-tale adaptation that finds a clever fox outwitting his silly dinner guests, Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg noted that Bonning incorporates "a refreshing twist in[to] an old favorite."
In Snog the Frog Bonning introduces his title character on the morning of his birthday. Well versed in fairy-tale lore, Snog—his name a play on British slang for "kiss"—is determined to achieve his rightful destiny and feel like a handsome prince on his special day. Snog asks everyone he meets for a kiss. After getting rejected from a cow, a sheep, and even a pig, Snog finally happens upon a beautiful princess who grants his request because she also has the expectation that kissed frogs turn into handsome princes. After several smooches, the princess realizes that Snog the Frog is not to be her Prince Charming; he is just an ordinary frog. Snog is quite pleased, however; being kissed by a princess has left him feeling like a prince! Be Astengo, writing in School Library Journal, stated that "readers and listeners need to be familiar with the original tale to get the punch line, but the story is engaging enough to work well without it." A Kirkus Reviews critic commented that "younger readers on this side of the pond may not get the title's pun at first, but by the end will be lining up for snogs of their own."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, November 15, 1998, Lauren Peterson, review of Another Fine Mess, p. 594; February 1, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Fox Tale Soup, p. 942.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March, 2002, review of Fox Tale Soup, p. 235.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2001, review of Fox Tale Soup, p. 1754; January 1, 2005, review of Snog the Frog, p. 48.
Publishers Weekly, December 17, 2001, review of Fox Tale Soup, p. 90.
School Librarian, summer, 1999, review of Another Fine Mess, p. 73; spring, 2002, review of Stone Soup, p. 17.
School Library Journal, February, 1999, JoAnn Jonas, review of Another Fine Mess, p. 77; March, 2002, Lisa Gangemi Krapp, review of Fox Tale Soup, p. 172; August, 2005, Be Astengo, review of Snog the Frog, p. 85.
Children's Book Page Web site, http://www.bookpage.com/ (February 24, 2006), Karen Trotter Elley, review of Fox Tale Soup.
Scottish Storytelling Centre Web site, http://www.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk/ (December 14, 2005), "Tony Bonning."
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