Fifty-four years ago a new mother, named Bessie, was not sure what to do with her colicky baby boy. She knew how to sew and had lots of fabric scraps, so she made him a stuffed animal in the shape of a beetle including overalls, a tiny shirt, and little slippers for his feet. She used this “boy doll” to shake over her baby’s face and with the beetle’s four arms and two legs wiggling all over, the baby calmed down.
Later the mother went back to work as an illustrator and one day thought, “why don’t I illustrate a story of my own, based on the stuffed animal beetle I sewed up for the baby?”
She painted twenty-eight lovely illustrations, which inspired her to write a story to go with them. The sad thing is that back in the mid 1950’s it was very hard for a woman to get a book published, thus the illustrations and story was packed away for years gathering dust in the attic.
About fourty-four years later, the mother decided to give her illustrations and story to her second child (Carol A. Peacock-Williams) who is now a Kauai resident.
About ten years ago, when Carol’s daughter, Christy Jo was in preschool and loved bed time stories, Bessie gave Carol and her daughter the book to get published as a three generational collaboration. They rewrote it into a current day bedtime story in one day. Three years ago, after Carol went to a workshop held at the Island School (where Christy Jo is now a Sophmore in High school) on how to get children's books published; they rewrote it again into a healing story with a "Kauaian" twist ( after they had finally found a publisher to accept it).
The original stuffed animal has fallen apart, but they are looking for a talented seamstress on island to remake if for them from an old photo of the original one. Carol can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Quite a few folks around the island have asked how to get this newly released hardback or soft cover children's book, Benny the Beetle
, for their kids, grand kids, and school libraries. It can be bought at the Hanapepe Talk Story bookstore or ordered online at www.barnesandnoble.com, amazon or nativebooks.com