Bonnie Leick (pronunciation: “Like”) is an award-winning Illustrator of children’s books and magazines; a dream that blossomed from her established career as an Animator. The second oldest of six siblings, Bonnie grew up playing amongst sweet-smelling hayfields and lush-wooded lots on a central Wisconsin dairy farm. When she couldn’t spend her time outside, she would draw and paint for hours.


Bonnie attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). She chose to major in Film & Video, but while film was exciting, she missed drawing. With the encouragement of her film instructor, Bonnie combined the two and started to make animated films. At the time, MCAD did not provide an animation program – so she searched for a school that did. Cue the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). It was the perfect fit.


A major earthquake and a bout of cat scratch fever later, Bonnie earned her Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Character Animation. She jumpstarted her career working in the animation industry for companies including Disney, Creative Capers and Warner Brothers.


Yet, the call to illustrate beckoned. It didn't take long: Bonnie left animation nearly a decade after her start to pursue a career in the world of children's books. She found success with her first book “Alien Invaders” and has since worked with major publishers of both books and magazines.


Bonnie, along with her husband, Doug O’Leary and her two French Bulldogs live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has two sons Ryan and Connor. In her free-time Bonnie volunteers for the French Bulldog Rescue Network (FBRN). She also loves photography, gardening, making wine, and canning.

Clients include:

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Two Lions

Random House

Golden Books

Raven Tree Press

Tanglewood Books

Marshall Cavendish

Highlights High Five

Highlights for Children

Highlights Hidden Pictures

SRA McGraw/Hill

Hyperion Books for Children

Awards and Recognition:

Highlights Pewter Plate Award for Illustrator
of the Month – March 2011

2010 Magazine Merit Award for Illustration (SCBWI), also a received a letter of Merit as a Runner-up in the same category

Beautiful Moon - Raven Tree Press 2009:
National "Best Books 2009" Awards (NBBA) - Children’s Picture Book – Hardcover - Finalist; Mom’s Choice Award - Children’s Picture Book – Bedtime Stories – Gold

Highlights High Five 2008 Pewter Plate Award for Cover of the Year

SCBWI-L.A. 2004 Portfolio Competition – one of top three finalists in the Quirky/Modern division

SCBWI-NY 2003 1st Annual Art Competition – one of ten finalists

Site by Lisa Leick |  Illustrations by Bonnie Leick