Bekki the Fairy meets Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest

Cirles with the face of Bekki the Fairy and Jaden Toussaint
Bekki the Fairy wants to ask Jaden Toussaint all sorts

This interview is a work of FICTION with the authors bringing their characters to life.

Bekki: Hello Jaden.  I am Bekki the Fairy. I am great because I do helpful spells. What is your most greatest, bestest thing about you?

Jaden: I think a lot of people would say my hair. When we went to New York City people stopped me on almost every block to say they liked my hair. Seriously. At first, I was giving people helpful hints on growing their afros, but then Mama kept telling me to just say, “Thank you,” even though that doesn’t seem very helpful at all.

But I wouldn’t say my hair is the best thing about me. I think my ninja dancing is way better than my hair.


Bekki: I can do some of the moves from Single Ladies.  What are your favourite dance moves?

Jaden: It’s probably a tie between the Robot and the Moonwalk. Or a mega-tie between the Robot, the Moonwalk, the Warrior, Ninja on Tiptoe, the Rainbow, and the Dab. On second thought, I’ll just say the Dab. My sister taught me that one.

Bekki: My brother Sam used to be my baby-sitter but he won’t do it anymore because I turned him into a hotdog.  Is your sister Sissy your baby-sitter?

Jaden: No, but she really, really wants to be. I told her if she really wants to convince Mama and Baba that she should make a PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint presentations are scientifically proven to convince parents of anything. That and petitions.

I even said I’d help her make it because I’m kind of an expert in PowerPoints and all we’d have to do is become experts in the law so we could make a perfect case to convince our parents, but she said, “No, thank you,” for some strange reason. Weird, right?

Three book covers
Jaden has a gift for PowerPoint and petitions

Bekki: You’re from New Orleans? That’s in the United States, isn’t it? I come from London but I am a mixture of Nigeria, Ghana, Brazil, Portugal and Scotland.  Are you a mixture?

Jaden: Um…I’m not sure. But [pulls out notebook] that gives me a great idea for a research project.

Street scene in New Orleans
New Orleans is a big US city with lots going for it

Bekki: Can you speak any Swahili?

Jaden: I know the Nguzo Saba (that means seven principles) from Kwanza, and I know how to say hello now that my cousin Muffin taught me. My mom can speak a lot of French, but Chinese is more my thing.

Bekki: Does your big hair take a lot of looking after?

Jaden: Sometimes. My mom washes it and combs it into my alien hair (my mom calls it twists, but alien hair is just better) and then leaves it to dry like that. Then I either wear my alien hair to school or I pull the aliens apart in an epic battle and free my ‘fro. That’s the best part. After a while my mom makes me get it washed again, though.

Bekki: What is the best thing about your mum?  

Jaden: She gives really good hugs and she makes the best muffins.

a boy and girl face each other with aggressive faces
Not all muffins are sweet. Jaden’s cousin Muffin is a handful!

Bekki: Do you want me to do a magic spell to turn you into a Ladek?

Jaden: So that I can become the most hated creature on the planet and nearby galaxies?!? No thanks.

Bekki:  Hmmmf, suit yourself!   I do skipping and I like rhyming songs.  Have you got any good ones to share with me, please?

Jaden: If you like songs that rhyme you should listen to “My Shot” from Hamilton. It’s epic and it has lots of rhymes in it. Like, a ton.

Bekki: I love that song!  Thanks for telling me about it!  [Bekki dances and makes assertive hand gestures].

That show is coming to London– maybe mum will bring me.  Now, next question, who is your favourite teacher and why?

Four actors in historical costume dancing onstage in the musical Hamilton
Scene from Hamilton the revolutionary musical

Jaden: Miss Bates is the best teacher in the whole wide world! She knows how to do all the best stuff. Like, seriously. She does. One time she even showed us how to slice a banana without peeling it.

Bekki: If you were a toy would you be an action hero, a cuddly plush toy or a paper doll with loads of outfits?

Jaden: All of them. Definitely all of them. Action heroes are good for the tub and science experiments because they can get wet. Paper dolls are cool because I could make tons of ties for my tie collection. And, I mean, everybody likes plushies, right? What else are you supposed to sleep with at night?

Parer doll surrounded by outfits
Jaden and Bekki would like to be paper dolls like Jupiter Storm

Bekki: Jaden , will you go and play for a minute, please.  I am going to talk to someone.  Bekki is asking Jaden’s author, Marti Dumas,  why she wrote a book.

Marti: I write stories about Jaden Toussaint, a character modelled on my own son when he was 5, because I couldn’t find books about kids who loved school and loved learning–let alone brown kids who loved school and learning–that were also fun.

diagram of a boy's brain
Look inside Jaden Toussaint’s brain

I try to make the stories something that my own children and their friends enjoy and can relate to. Something where they can see their best selves reflected, including that your best self isn’t always perfect.

Bekki: Will you be writing more books?

Marti: Jaden Toussaint is the star of five chapter books so far, with a bonus book about the scientific method in the works for this summer. We’re kicking around ideas for a 6th book and, funnily enough, the main idea right now involves a babysitter! 🙂

Bekki: That’s super.  My babysitters love me!  [This is not completely true!] It has been splendid talking to you, Jaden.  Can we be friends?

Jaden: Definitely! Do you play toranpu?

End of Interview – Playtime!

***********

First things first – let’s have a Cool Kid Brain Dance Party!!  

drawings of little boy doing ninja dance moves
Are you ready to dance like a ninja???

Let’s do the Monkey, Paint the Fence, cool wave, warrior, ninja on tiptoe, robot, crane, mantis.  Listen to Jaden’s cousin rapping.  Do what she suggests!!!

A boy dressed as the book character Jaden Toussaint holds a copy of the Jaden Toussaint book by author Marti Dumas.
This Ghanaian Chinese American kid NAILED it on World Book Day.

Do you like dressing up as book characters on World Book Day?    This cool dude dressed up as Jaden from The Ladek Invasion.  There are many ways to dress as Jaden.

Covers of all five books about Jaden Toussaint The Greatest by Marti Dumas
Pick a look for World Book Day 2019

 

 

Where to buy beautiful black dolls online – Update for Santa

I have just added a micro blog about a doll I had been ignoring – L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion Dolls -I will add details later today of this Doll of the Year winner.

A doll next to her packaging
Surprises! – and lots of them

A musical theatre Disney Halloween black Werewolf doll with natural curly, coily hair – Willa Lykensen played by Chandler Kinney makes a notable doll even if you don’t watch Zombies 2.

A singing dancing werewolf

Disney’s Willa Lykensen doll is Barbie sized doll – almost an action figure – but the attention to detail- moonstone necklace and rock chick clothing make her a gorgeous doll for collectors as well as kids. Mattel must have had some fun with the styling here – just look at hose tats! I have done a mini blog about Willa here.

While researching the Zombies I came a across a fabulous UK store Bentzens Emporium who create mini videos to showcase their dolls. Here is a link to their Zombies videos on YouTube

cute black doll with afro puff hairstyle
is Chelsea on Santa’s sleigh? Better be!

Anyone who knows me probably knows that I own far too many dolls for someone of my age.  My collection of Christie, Wesley, Madison, Nikki and other black Barbie dolls is being taken out of the cupboard for self-isolation. 

Below are two notable dolls of 2020, the Fresh Squad men and the Yara Shahidi. I will say more in my mini blogs.

three male black and hispanc dolls
Cooler than Ken

Today I am showing the most representative doll on the market. The dollpreneurs who develop black dolls love it when a parent says “My daughter loves the doll. It looks just like her.” Well how about a doll that IS her.

Budsies

For the people who ready my blog here’s a tip off. The people at Budsies are taking orders now for their custom dols where you send in a pic and get a doll make in your likeness. The dolls are plush dolls and the artist s need tome to physically make them. This is Christmas gift pricing – around the 100 dollars mark but if you want to show a girl a dolly that is everything she dreams of being then this will deliver the WOW factor. I will micro blo about this soon. I am saying hurry.

The ultimate representative doll – Budsies

Diverse Dolls 4 All

This is a UK site with the mix of dolls you’d expect from the UK. The company names its black dolls with care and respect. As a writer I loved that Malorie Blackman has a doll named in her honour.

http://www.diversedolls4all.co.uk/

Disney Princess Tiana

Princess Tiana’s cosy look from the Wreck it Ralph sequel

Princess Tiana is an important doll – if we are talking about representation then that powerful group of Disney Princess really needs to have a black member.

The smallest of girls can cuddle a plush Tiana doll and the Disney company has the might to provide Princess Tiana as a black doll for al ages. She matters.

Tiana’s look from The Frog Prince

There are multiple Tiana dolls so I will just note this new comfy Tiana with natural curly, coily hair. She has always had an up do but the natural hair movement inspired a new approach to the doll’s hair.

Do you want a new doll?

I found this site when i was looking for Zuree the Patwa talking doll.  Kunaka Kids has a fabulous mix of “African and Caribbean Inspired” accessories, stationery, book  and, of course, dolls.  There is even a music box with a tiny Nia ballerina!  Very desirable and cute!

Nia Bellerina music box

The the doll range is extensive. The African dolls have African names and clothing and come in many different sizes – soft rags dolls, Barbie sized girls and sturdy little girl dolls. I will highlight the 14.5 inch Molemo dolls, proudly wearing their tribal colours- Xhosa, Ndebele and more.

The Zuree doll with her fiesty Jamaican voice box can be seen and heard here. She comes from London but I suspect her heart is in Jamaica.

These flashy 12inch dolls are beloved by adult collectors.  The collections of high end fashion dolls include the Ru Paul doll.  The Fashion Royalty collection, which is updated every year,  has dramatic characters with names like Dasha D’Amboise and Baroness Agnes Von Weiss. 

The Meteor Collection has characters of West African descent, Keeki and Zuri.

Black fashion doll in high fashion clothing
Keeki Adaeze™ from Integrity Toys’ Meteor Collection
Continue reading “Where to buy beautiful black dolls online – Update for Santa”