Molly Morningstar

A Doll for Me

Children - Picture Book
35 Pages
Reviewed on 11/04/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Andrea Coke wears many hats, can you relate? A wife, mother of four, teacher, speech-language pathologist, book reviewer, and now, author.

Creating engaging children’s stories that embrace well-being, diversity, and inclusion is where Andrea’s heart lies. After a childhood of inserting herself into other people’s experiences, she is thrilled to bring to life books for kids that reflect their own experiences.

Andrea holds a Master of Health Science from the University of Toronto in Speech-Language Pathology, a Bachelor of Education from York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from York University, in Canada. All this to say: Andrea knows about communication.

Originally from the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Andrea currently lives in Canada with her family. She is the author of the award-winning Molly Morningstar book series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl Schopen for Readers' Favorite

Molly Morningstar, A Doll for Me, written by Andrea Coke and illustrated by M. Fernanda Orozco, is about a little girl named Molly who has just been invited to a birthday party. The invitation said to bring a favorite doll. The problem is that Molly cannot find a doll that looks like her. She searches and searches but doesn’t have any luck finding one. Her parents seem to have accepted the idea that it’s unlikely she will find a doll that looks like her, but Molly has her own plan. Being the problem-solver that she is, she comes up with an idea all on her own.

I absolutely adored this book, and I immediately wanted to buy a box of these and distribute them to the schools I work at. I think every parent and educator should have this book. It teaches a beautiful message. Children need to feel represented in the books they read and the toys they play with. We need to celebrate and embrace diversity and inclusion. Growing up Asian, I felt very underrepresented in many things, from books to television shows. So, I understand the importance of making sure that children feel like they belong. Molly Morningstar is a girl that every child can look up to. She didn’t just accept not being able to find a doll that looks like her. She got creative, and she didn’t give up. Not only does this book have an amazing message and a one-of-a-kind main character, but it has incredibly vivid and eye-catching illustrations. I can’t explain how impressed I am with these images by M. Fernanda Orozco. And Molly Morningstar, A Doll for Me is Andrea Coke’s debut picture book? I am at a loss for words. Unbelievable. This is definitely my new favorite picture book.

Lois Henderson

Molly Morningstar: A Doll for Me, written by educator Andrea Coke and illustrated by Spanish-based M. Fernanda Orozco, is a picture book that celebrates diversity and the right to be heard. As the dedication states, this inspirational work is a tribute “To the child in all of us who just wants to feel seen.” Molly is invited to a birthday party by her friend, Emma, but there is one proviso: she has to bring her favorite doll. Super-excited, Molly sets out with her dog Boomer to choose her best doll. She longs to have a doll that looks like her, but that is one thing she cannot find. Molly and her mom then begin a hunt for a doll that does resemble her. What happens next is an inspiring tale of independent thinking and the desire to assert one’s own identity, no matter the obstacles that one might encounter along the way.

Andrea Coke’s and M. Fernanda Orozco’s Molly Morningstar: A Doll for Me is a book that is very much geared to the moment, especially in line with such movements as #blacklivesmatter. The full-color illustrations are bold, bright, and relevant. The characters' expressions are especially well-rendered and well-voiced, ranging through the whole gamut of feelings from sad to ecstatic. The inventiveness of Molly, who resorts to expressing her creativity to obtain what she both wants and needs, should serve as an outstanding role model for youngsters everywhere. Molly Morningstar: A Doll for Me ends with a page on which the reader/listener can draw their perfect doll (this could prove to be an eye-opener for some parents and caregivers), as well as an affirmative message by author Andrea Coke to “Celebrate the beauty in differences.” The message is clear, needing only to be read and realized.

Astrid Iustulin

When little Molly receives an invitation to her friend Emma's birthday party, she reads that she can take her favorite doll with her. But which doll to bring? Molly searches among her toys but does not find one she likes, because none of the dolls looks like her. Our little protagonist is not discouraged, however, and uses her ingenuity to resolve the situation. How? This is what every child deserves to discover by reading Molly's sweet and educational story in Molly Morningstar, A Doll for Me, a picture book written by Andrea Coke with illustrations by M. Fernanda Orozco.

The first thing that struck me about Molly Morningstar, A Doll for Me were the illustrations by M. Fernanda Orozco. These glorious additions to Andrea Coke's book stand out for their bright colors and quality. Molly is represented as a lively little girl whose story can inspire many other kids. Once I started reading, I realized that Molly Morningstar, A Doll for Me is not only beautiful for its imagery, but also for its inspiring prose and central message. It entertains its young readers with a charming story and, at the same time, teaches them a valuable message about inclusion. Seeing Molly at work will also remind us as adults that children always find a way to change a situation they do not like. It is only necessary for them to try. I recommend Molly Morningstar, A Doll for Me to anyone who wants their children to learn important values as soon as they can.

Kirkus Reviews

"A girl finds an inventive solution to missing representation in the toy aisle in this clever debut picture book about inclusion." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Dr. Rita Cox

Kids will love the bright and unstoppable Molly Morningstar who unapologetically shares a subtle message of self-love and diversity. -- Dr. Rita Cox, Librarian, Member of the Order of Canada for storytelling and literacy

Gabrielle Graham, Actress

"...teaches kids... that creativity, imagination and determination can be effective tools in reshaping the world around them." --Gabrielle Graham, Actress, BET Twenties

Vittoria Iozzo

I adore reading this book to my Kindergarten classes and seeing their emotions change from the unfairness and sadness of realizing Molly can’t find a doll that looks like her to joy and pride when Molly is able to find a solution to her problem. It is a great way to introduce the importance of diversity in the classroom in a way in which all children can relate. It is an amazing book to start numerous conversations with…the children always have a ton of comments and questions after we read this story!