Gloria van Donge
Gloria van Donge is a mother of a gifted child, but she only discovered this in her retirement! She recalls that at the age of 3 years old, her daughter would recite story books on long car trips. All it took was the first sentence, “Once upon a time” and the words would tumble out. There was no stopping until “they lived happily ever after”.
As she grew, her daughter’s level of empathy for her classmates often resulted in lengthy discussions, after school. She was a rapid learner. She processed information very quickly. Her inquisitive mind often asked more and more questions, often about deep subjects. She was a flexible thinker and creative problem-solver. Gloria didn’t make the connection.
It wasn’t until after her daughter became an educator and worked with schools to provide quality Gifted Education across Brisbane, Queensland, that Gloria learned about the area of giftedness. For the first time, Gloria realised that her daughter had grown up as a gifted child. It was this journey of discovery that sparked the creation of these books. There was a burning desire to help gifted kids understand who they are and to help them grow up feeling wonderful about themselves and their abilities.
So Gloria developed a family of five, playful cheetah cubs, each with an area of giftedness. Each of the characters face a struggle, common to those often encountered by gifted kids. Bronwyn, her daughter, took an active role in leading a design thinking approach, shaping the tone of the stories and providing expert guidance.
Gloria’s series of five picture books creates a doorway into the world of the gifted and talented child. Bronwyn and Gloria hope these stories will help gifted children talk to their parents about being gifted and assist parents to understand the key issues a gifted child could face.