Meet the Authors: Mom and her 4-year-old

It’s a rare job that involves a 4-year-old co-worker and consultant, but such is Paulette Bonneur’s creative workspace.

After all, it was her toddler daughter bursting into the “naked dance” that had her parents not only laughing but also considering writing a kids’ book about bodies. The result is “Everybody Love Your Body,” co-authored by Paulette and young author, Harper Bonneur.

The book, aimed at young girls, celebrates the body in all its shapes, colors and other features. Educational and upbeat, it was assembled as a labor of love for Harper, whose mom works as director of Student Life at North Hennepin Community College in Minneapolis.

“This struck me as something Harper and I could do together,” she said.

Four-year-old Harper Bonneur reads over some of her own work with her mom, Paulette..

Bonneur, a 2009 graduate in communications, called upon a former classmate Brianna Williamson for help publishing the book. Williamson has published several kids’ books with her daughter Mya as well. Her books are targeted to and about young Black girls with body-positive themes such as “The Ballerina Who Lost Her ‘Fro,” “From Apartheid to Black Pride” and “I Love My Natural Hair.”

“We both kind of went full-steam,” Bonneur said. “She was integral in helping me locate an illustrator and taking care of a lot of the back end while I focused a lot of my energy on working on the content.”

While immersing in the publishing and marketing of the book, Bonneur again found inspiration from her daughter for another line of business. Recalling the little bows she’d make when Harper had precious little hair on her head as a baby, Bonneur began making a line of crafty, one-of-a-kind bows—with Harper’s consulting services, of course.

The book emphasizing body positivity, written by Paulette and Harper Bonneur.

“I thought if I’m going to do the book, and fulfill that part of the entrepreneurship aspect of it, why don’t I just go all in.” Bonneur said.

After graduating, Bonneur worked for the Admissions Office at Minnesota State Mankato for five years. After getting married she moved to the Twin Cities to be closer to family.

“It was all so new to me,” she said. “I was first-generation and I didn’t really understand the concept of moving away from home and living away from home being with all these new people. Everything was fascinating to me so I took advantage of what I could.

“Being from an immigrant family, one of the things they always say is: Go to school and do all these things. But sometimes they don’t know how to show you how to do those things. So I quickly learned how to navigate the university, quickly learned how to navigate the system. I think that was really helpful in my time, and meeting people and getting connected. And having people pull me along the way, too.”