Baylor Faculty Member Writes Children’s Book

Just Dande
Rhonda King's "Just Dande" book cover.
June 30, 2014

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (June 30, 2014) –Rhonda King, administrative manager of the department of biology in the College of Arts & Sciences, put her knowledge of plant life and her belief that everyone was created for a purpose into a children’s book.

Just Dande is a picture book – available both in print and in e-book format – about how a dandelion finds that she has self-worth, despite what other flowers tell her. King said that she hopes this book will convey that same sense of purpose to the kids who read the book.

“The main character in the book is, at first, called a ‘weed’ and a ‘nuisance’ by other flowers around her,” King said. “But once a bee comes along and tells her about all the ways in which dandelions can be useful, the dandelion finds that she, in fact, has purpose.”

King said that coming up with the idea was the most natural part of the process. The idea for the book came to her around the time she became ill a few years ago. She was placed in a wheelchair until she could regain strength in her leg after a mass had been removed from her femur – along with it, most of the bone. She said that it could have been easy to be negative about it, but instead reminded herself that “with every problem, there’s a challenge – and (she) had an opportunity to get it right.”

She had written the book a few years ago but never thought about getting it published until showing it to a couple of her coworkers’ children.

“Their kids loved it,” King said. “(My coworkers) told me I should send the book off and try to get it published, so I did!”

She showed her book around until an offer came through. After that, the most difficult part of the process was getting it illustrated, she said. The way she imagined the characters looking took quite a while to translate into the form it is in now.

“The whole process was very interesting,” King said. “And now with the way you can see the book online and the immediate reactions from buyers, it’s very interesting to see the critiques you get.”

King said she plans to make the book a series and will continue writing the books with a centralized theme to “motivate and inspire somebody to seek God’s will.”

“I truly believe everybody has a purpose,” King said. “In one way or another, that purpose is to be a blessing.”

by Rebecca Flannery, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 26 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit

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