Book of the week: Adventures with Raymond and Bonnie: The Deserted Cottage by John Williams

After a career spanning some forty years, you might think that John Williams would have been content to take things easy and put his feet up. But he had other ideas. North Wales based John is a financial professional turned children’s author who has written a new short story about two feathered friends, Raymond and Bonnie.

Raymond and Bonnie book by John Williams collage

The story

No matter how old you get, you need a good friend. Learning to stick together and lean on each other’s strengths is the dynamic duo in John Williams’ debut children’s book, Adventures with Raymond and Bonnie: The Deserted Cottage. In it, a young robin called Raymond and his best friend Bonnie, a blue tit, get into a bit of a fix and realise they need help. Raymond is plucky and brave. Actually, he can be foolhardy but he tries hard. Bonnie is a little younger than her friend but what she lacks in knowledge, she makes up for with common sense. Always right, she tends to be nosy and sometimes lacks concentration.

Living in rural Billsborough County, the little chums always have fun together but on one particular winter’s day, their normally safe and peaceful environment is threatened by the arrival of two suspicious-looking strangers with less than friendly intentions. Who are these intruders and what, exactly, do they want? Far from being fun, this turns out to be a very challenging day that the intrepid pair will never forget …

Raymond and Bonnie book by John Williams collage

The author

By 2017, John had worked for over 30 years as an Investment and Pension Adviser and , before that,  had spent 10 years in banking.  As in many walks of life, the financial planning profession had become subject to heavy and often stifling regulation.  With mounting levels of paperwork and the time spent visiting clients throughout North Wales and North West England, Wrexham born John decided that it was time to do something different.

When he finally left the financial arena in August 2018, he knew that he wanted to test himself. Not interested in picking up a golf club, he spent more time on his passion of photography and enrolled at Wrexham Glynd University to study history. By 2021 he had obtained a BA (Hons) degree and had also undertaken an extra course in creative writing.

As a grandfather of two boys, John resolved to put some time aside to write a short story for children. In deciding who should be the protagonist(s) in his tale, he drew on his love of the countryside and the birdlife he witnesses in his ongoing role as a volunteer towpath ranger and photographer for the Canal and River Trust.

Ideal for ages seven to nine, this charming tale teaches children that whilst it’s fine for them to try and solve things on their own, it’s also OK to seek help to solve a problem.


The book sequel

A sequel has already been written. As John explains, “Having worked under unbending regulation for so long, I now enjoy letting my imagination run free,  to flesh out personalities within a story and to imagine a young reader enjoying my tale and looking forward to discovering what Raymond and Bonnie get up to next. I’m encouraged by the reaction to the book, and I have ideas for even more adventures for these little characters to get stuck into”.


Adventures with Raymond and Bonnie: The Deserted Cottage by John Williams is illustrated in colour by Simon Goodway.

It is available to order through all good retailers and to preview and order via John Williamswebsite

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