Meet Wendy Jo Bradshaw – Treasure Hunter, Singer, Children’s Book Author
Can you imagine growing up and feeling like a misfit red-headed tomboy, living along the Western Rocky Mountains? Well that’s how songwriter and children’s book author Wendy Bradshaw describes her upbringing. She spent a lot of time organizing fun events with the neighborhood boys like bike treks and treasure hunts where they would go to look for fossils, arrowheads and crawdads. She enjoyed living and collecting more treasures along Route 66 in Tijeras Canyon, New Mexico.
While she did what she could to fill her time so that she was never bored, Bradshaw didn’t exactly have what most people would call a convenient childhood. She and her family moved frequently throughout the western states, due to her dad’s job, so she understands the hardships of always being the new kid at school more than anyone. While Bradshaw’s favorites activities growing up were singing, playing the piano, spending time with her dog, and exploring, most of her free time growing up was spent helping out her mom or taking care of her three younger siblings.
What Inspires Wendy Bradshaw
Bradshaw’s ideas for her children’s books, such as her recently released A Very Important Power, come from her life’s experiences in songwriting and living out west – especially those from her treasure hunts where she learned of treasures more valuable in this world than jewels and gold. Bradshaw calls these values “TCL”, which stands for the Treasure Chest of Life. The values that make up Bradshaw’s TCL include good health, family, friendship, feeling at home with yourself, and finding your powers of voice and choice.
The topics that inspire Bradshaw to write children’s illustrated books are diversity, equality, tolerance and integrity, especially when it comes to the prevention of bullying and rooting for the underdog. She believes a good children’s story is a relatable one that mentions a problem and offers a solution along with a moral that isn’t preachy but rather original for its time.
The top three books Bradshaw would recommend for children in these topics (outside of her own, of course) are Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, and the Harry Potter illustrated series by J.K. Rowling.
How Wendy Bradshaw Writes Her Children’s Book
Bradshaw first realized she wanted to be a children’s book author in 1987, during the time when her two daughters were in elementary school. Bradshaw would read to them while inserting their names into the story to make the morals more empowering and personal for her own kids. After seeing how great her daughters felt with that little detail, and how children’s books affect the social development of kids in general, Bradshaw decided she would use her talents to lift up other children in need through writing her own children’s books based on her own experiences as a child and the values in life she holds dearest.
Bradshaw believes that the hardest thing about writing in general is keeping it simple and reducing unneeded words. She realized after years of book-writing that while creating something perfect may be good, getting the job done is a lot better. She is also a firm believer that less is more when it comes to writing; that the best way to write is to let the thoughts flow and pour out, but the true skill comes in capsulizing them afterwards into as few succulent words as possible that can get the point across.
Bradshaw’s Key Words of Advice to her 10-year-old self
If Bradshaw had the chance to go back in time to tell her 10-year-old self any advice on what it means to live a good, healthy and happy life going forward, it would be the following five things:
- “Hey! You’re A-OK!”, just how you are!
- Be authentically you, and never dim your own light, so that others can feel comfortable or better than you.
- You have a choice, the power of voice! Don’t take a back seat or be intimidated by anyone! You have as much right as anyone else to the best that life has to offer!
- You are a very treasured person and have unique gifts all your own.
- You are more powerful and resilient than you know!
Of course, no one has the power to go back and change the past, so Bradshaw focuses her efforts on getting these key points across when she writes books for kids so that, hopefully, young readers everywhere can discover the same valuable things about themselves.
What’s Next for Wendy Bradshaw
When she’s not reading or writing, Bradshaw spends her time composing music and singing while recording in the studio. She also loves spending time with her family and friends and still actively pursues treasure hunting. Her biggest fans and supporters of her writing and Vippi Mouse series are her family, especially her young grandchildren who Bradshaw features on most of her recordings.
Bradshaw strives to be known for creating kid’s media and family entertainment that builds integrity and self-esteem while also empowering children to overcome challenges and obstacles like bullying. She is currently writing and recording a new song to accompany her next book and video for the Vippi Mouse Treasure Quests Series. She’s also working on re-publishing her previous series of five personalized children’s books, but most importantly, Bradshaw is dedicated to spreading the voice of her mission and motto to kids all over the world, and that statement is “Help Kids See, They are a Treasured VIP!”.
If you’re looking for an amazing children’s book that focuses on self-exploration and anti-bullying to put into your school or home library, then Bradshaw’s Vippi Mouse: A Very Important Power is a must-have. You can check more details about her book and the rest of the stories in the Vippi Mouse Treasure Quest collection (and even listen to fun songs of the brand) at VippiMouse.com.
Wendy Jo Bradshaw is a Nammy (Native American Music Awards) Nominated, singer, songwriter, recording artist and author of VIPPI MOUSE books and music for children. She loves being a mother, grandmother and serial entrepreneur. Wendy has founded, operated, and sold several successful businesses including a commercial recording studio. She is currently the Chief Creative Officer at her company, ThunderSky Media LLC/Vippi Mouse, and she is also a licensed real estate professional.
Wendy is certified in Bullying Prevention by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Program at the QPR Institute and attended the Lifeguard Workshop from the Trevor Project. She is an advocate and activist for the LGBTQ+ community.
Wendy’s current projects include the development of creative content for the Vippi Mouse Treasure Quests series. She also recently published and recorded an original song You Have the Power, to accompany her new kid’s book about diversity and bullying prevention titled A Very Important Power.
Vippi Mouse, the main character in Wendy’s Treasure Quest Series, exists to inspire children to discover the most valuable treasures in the universe – THEMSELVES, the treasure that is greater than gold!
If you are a children’s book author and would like to have your own story interview, please contact author Lisa Caprelli.