A few weeks ago, we sent the most recent Bobbledy title to the subscribership.
It is the story of a little girl and her even littler friend, a homemade doll made with a scrap of cloth and two marbles.
Tiny Mama is not an imaginary friend. Tiny Mama is an actual friend. A portable advisor and conscience and guide. Who has the added benefit of being machine washable.
Tiny Mama arose from the imagination of our daughter Alden, who created the idea as the prize in a cereal box for a school project. The name Tiny Mama delighted me from the first time I heard it, and I felt compelled to work it into a story. In the process, Tiny Mama evolved from a tiny paper cutout to a rag doll that Robbi invented with household items and made into a prototype before illustrating the book. We liked the idea of creating something that would be easy for readers to make and bring along on their own adventures.
As is the case with all of our Bobbledy titles, we included a tutorial in the back. Of course, it made sense to walk kids through the process of making their own Tiny Mamas. We’re happy to share the instructions with you. Tiny Mama construction is an open source technology.
When we send out our books, we cross our fingers and hope that kids will like them. Sometimes we hear from kids and parents with words of thanks and excitement. Sometimes we even get photos of kids doing the projects and tutorials. This always makes us smile. But this past week or so, we’ve been flooded with emails and Facebook posts with stories and photos of kids of many ages making and loving and wanting to shout about their Tiny Mamas.
For example, here is Hazel, checking out the tutorial and getting ready to dive into Tiny Mama construction.
And here is Preston, having a serious conversation with his recently constructed Tiny Mama.
Here are two beautifully constructed Tiny Mamas, courtesy of Jackson and Rae.
And here Mo, whose Tiny Mama looks incredibly soft. And incredibly lovable, I will add.
Here is Addie with her Tiny Mama. Addie wins points for TM construction ingenuity.
Here are Kaki and Sunny with their Tiny Mamas (and the Tiny Momar they made for their mom, Ashley).
Arlo and Grae made Tiny Mamas, too. According to her mom, Grae has been making at least one Tiny Mama each day. Perhaps one day soon I will post a photo of her Tiny Army.
Here is Gabi, who at eleven years old, proudly proves that one is never too old to need/want/make/love a Tiny Mama.
And here are the author/illustrator winners of this year’s Bobbledy Make Your Own Book competition, Will, Eleanor, and Isabel Bolas with their Tiny Mama triumvirate!
The assembled Bolas contingent did not just make Tiny Mamas. They also named them.
Eleanor’s Tiny Mama is Flora Thistleman.
Isabel’s Tiny Mama is Rose Diamond Sparkle.
And Will made a Tiny Papa (note the handsome britches) who goes by the name of MarbleMan Idunno.
I have been hoping that all this Tiny Mama making might lead to new adventures. Apparently, this is already happening. I present to you the aforementioned MarbleMan Idunno riding on Baboo.
Might Will write the stories of Marbleman’s continuing adventures? Only time will tell. For now, Robbi and I are reveling in all this Tiny Mama excitement. If your own Bobbledy Club member has been cutting cloth and twisting rubber bands and would like to share the resulting creation, please snap a photo and send it our way. The more Tiny Mamas, the better this old world will be, we say.
Creativity is the ultimate gift. And it is so very easy to share.
Thank you, Bobbledy kids, for always giving us much more than we give you.
Should you wish to acquire your own copy of the book Tiny Mama, click here. The book is just $12. Tiny Mama herself will cost you nothing but a bit of cloth, two marbles, and a few rubber bands.
I am smitten!