When Elizabeth Bobé first finished her book, she struggled to capture her story with the right pictures. It was not until health sophomore Tiara Kinnebrew came along that Bobé felt like the story’s meaning was illustrated properly.
Bobé was inspired to write her book by her daughter, Sophia, who has cerebral palsy. As Bobé was talking to Sophia one night and playing with her toes, she told her daughter that she had faith that she would be able to overcome the challenges that cerebral palsy would pose. Thus, “Ten Big Dreams for Ten Little Toes” was born.
When it was time for Bobé to illustrate the book, she struggled to capture the essence of the story through her own illustrations.
“When I wrote the story, I felt it was powerful, but what I saw in my mind I wasn’t able to put down on paper,” Bobé said. “I saw the visions in my mind, and even though I felt that the words described it, I just felt that it wasn’t being communicated fully without the pictures.”
Bobé connected with Kinnebrew through her former co-worker and Kinnebrew’s former middle school teacher, Monte Robinson. She knew Kinnebrew’s artistic style would be what Bobé had been searching for.
“Tiara’s illustrations were the perfect dance partner to Elizabeth’s story of faith and perseverance,” Robinson said. “Complimenting the inspirational theme of the poem, the illustrations help to influence and guide the reader as they take the journey with Sophia from infancy to beyond her high school graduation.”
Robinson’s recommendation ended up being exactly what Bobé was looking for. The story Bobé struggled to depict came to life through Kinnebrew’s illustrations.
“Something I really wanted to make sure happened was portraying the amount of love that Mrs. Bobé has for her daughter, Sophia,” Kinnebrew said. “Through this, I drew the characters to the likeness of everyone involved in the written story and added flairs of magical elements and color, especially the color pink. Sophia’s wheelchair in a majority of the pictures I’ve seen has pink elements, so putting that color into the illustrated dreams and desires was a kind of homage to that being a part of her that also doesn’t define her.”
The book was published in February and is now available for purchase on Amazon. When it first came out, it became an Amazon #1 release for Children’s Christian Bedtime Fiction, establishing the book as a resource for families and children who might need encouragement.
“Our main focus is to encourage children and their families to just believe beyond what we see with our eyes only,” Bobé said. “I think a lot of times we settle on limitations, and I just really think that there’s so much power in faith and believing, and so my heart’s desire would be that we would ignite a fire in others to believe.”