The Mop Doll Family Storybook
A Tribute and A Life Lesson
A longtime friend of mine who lives in Ecuador sent me a request last December from Connie Cote who was looking for someone to edit, design and illustrate a storybook she wants to have published. She was not having any luck finding the right person, so Bob Jeffords got us together and a few months later The Mop Doll Family storybook was born.
Connie wrote this story many years ago when her kids were growing up. She always loved reading to them and got the idea to write a story of her own when she saw a store window full of mop dolls while she was out shopping one day. After writing her story, she stuck it away and forgot about it until it popped up recently as she was going through her things and packing for the move to Ecuador.
While she was looking at her long-lost story, it occurred to Connie that if she was ever going to do something with it, the time was now so she could dedicate it to her granddaughter, Kelly, who died in a tragic accident in 2011. Kelly was a beautiful and talented young girl, only 17, who was the valedictorian of her class as well as class president, and well loved by all of her classmates. Connie and Kelly's parents have set up a scholarship fund in her name at the school she was attending, The Creative Arts Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which will be funded with the proceeds from sales of The Mop Doll Family. This book is a very touching Tribute to the memory of a very special girl.
|Kelly Grace Butler|
Connie has this idea that mop dolls, given their particular physical attributes, have an equally particular purpose, and that is to "clean up the world". She has recently been jotting down ideas for sequels to this book with similar themes. The Mop Doll Family addresses dealing with prejudice between classes of people. Sometimes people (as well as mop people) get it into their heads that they are better than others to the extent that they don't ever want to get too close to those "inferior" to them, much less sit down with them at the dinner table.
Enter our villain, Mona Moppafella, the most outspoken of such mops at a special banquet where a couple of mischievous little boy mops have switched the name tags on the tables, causing a terrible uproar among the "elite". Here she is, in shock at seeing who her dinner-mate is (poor Mr. Scrub-Mop).
And here she is causing the biggest uproar of them all about it!
The little boys who did the dirty tricks are the twin sons of the couple being honored at the banquet, Mildred and Milton Mophead. Here are Mort and Mert.
And here is the whole family as they are exiting the limousine and about to enter the hotel where the banquet is being held. The two daughters are the red-headed Maggie and the tall, blonde Monique.
In spite of all the drama, wonderful food and entertainment are enjoyed at the banquet. The food and drink, however, are tailor-made to mop tastes: Roast Glob of Mud served with Dirt Balls, a special seven-layer Scum Salad and for dessert, Slimed Sand Sherbet topped with a cherry-flavored Fuzz Ball.
Kids will love this book for all the funny mop people, weird food and the "bad" little twins, but the Life Lesson comes out loud and clear: People should always respect and be kind to one another whatever their station in life may be. Mildred Mophead makes a speech putting Mona Moppafella in her place and making all the rest of them realize that prejudice has no place in their city and certainly not at their banquet. Of course, the twins learned a little lesson themselves: don't mess with the name tags, ever!
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Connie on this book. She spent a week with me in Scottsdale, Arizona and showed me dolls of some of the characters in the story that she had made some time ago. Astonishingly, some of them, especially Mona Moppafella, bore a remarkable resemblance to the illustrations I created. A Twilight Zone moment to be sure!
I am hoping she will be able to manufacture some of these dolls to be sold along with the books.
Note: The Mop Doll Family is in the process of being published and a notice will be added here when it becomes available.
Story and Artwork copyright 2013 by Constance L. Cote. All Rights Reserved.