Bonsai Babes
Bonsai Babes


By Lora Nakamura (Los Angeles: Self published, 2013, 56 pp., $19.95, hardcover)

Love comes in all shapes and forms, and Lora Nakamura examines the story of two young girls living in Los Angeles in what she describes as an art book drawn from her own experiences as an educator and social worker.

The beauty of a bonsai tree hides layers of molding and shaping by its surroundings. Following Mexican American Luna and Japanese American Nana, the two seven-year-olds uncover each other’s lives and grow to appreciate each other despite their differences. 

Luna is an abused young girl ripped away from her father through death and recovering from an ordeal of abuse at the hands of her relatives. Nana is a fourth-generation Japanese American raised in fortuitous circumstances of privilege and a rushing mind that jumps to conclusions.

An inseparable bond forms between the two girls. Nakamura explores their lives and reveals different concepts of love that is both familial and platonic. Her story reveals love is not so easily a given constant and that, even in the most fortuitous circumstances, hardship and anxiety exists.

The story is sweet, as is the art — like bubble gum.

Originally published through a successful Kickstarter campaign, Nakamura raised more than $12,000 and was backed by 145 people. Nakamura wrote the story and drew the art herself in her debut attempt at publishing a book. 

Nakamura now sells her book online at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See the 2024 CAAMFest