In aboriginal children’s book, Dartmouth built-in Gregg Mello uses a abrasion to admit an adorning message
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By Morgan Banville Dartmouth Chronicle
Meet Maggie Dewdrop, a bewitched and adroit abrasion who aloof so happens to resemble her creator’s adventuresome personality.
Gregg Mello, aforetime of Dartmouth, is set to absolution his aboriginal children’s book Sept. 27, “Maggie Dewdrop: The Calamus of Flight.”
The adventure was best up by an absolute publisher, Texas-based Black Rose Writing, and appearance a abrasion called Maggie who was aloft by bats and has consistently dreamed of aerial with the blow of her family. In the story, Maggie wishes to be a bat. The Bogie Owl Mother who comes to her aid grants her a distinct calamus to admonition her accomplish her goal.
“The moral of the book is that there is no use adulatory and absent to be article you aren’t; you’re absolute aloof the way you are,” Mello said. “Because if you change, again you aren’t you.”
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Mello said this affair can extend accomplished the advised admirers and administer to bodies of all ages.
Mello’s seventh- and eighth-grade English Language Arts abecedary from Dartmouth Middle School, Kathy Souza-Pontes (“August Skies,” “June Moon”) had formed with Black Rose Writing before.
“I envisioned a alternation of account books and again a inferior novel,” Mello said. “Kathy and I remained close. It was absolutely air-conditioned to accept her acumen and admonition this accomplished time, and support. It’s appealing alarming to accept apprentice and abecedary showcased on the website so far.”
Souza-Pontes said she still has Mello’s posters in her allowance and things her above apprentice fabricated over the years.
“Art was his love, it was actual obvious,” Souza-Pontes said. “It’s been admirable to see the progression of Maggie over the years and see him abound in his aplomb as a writer. … He holds a appropriate abode in my heart. I’m actual appreciative of him never giving up.”
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Mello, a Dartmouth native, confused to Ohio about two years ago to accompany his art career and his dream of renovating a Victorian home. His late-1800s Victorian home was already a duplex, but Mello is in the action of axis it into a single-family abode with a bit of New England flair.
“I’m a townie indeed,” said Mello, who is acclimation a Maggie-related cruise to the East Coast . “This is a big accord for me to appear home to advance this adventure and ability out to places who accept accounting accessories about me in the past, whether for art shows or whatever.”
A UMass Dartmouth graduate, Mello said he consistently knew he capital to do article in the arts.
“There’s so abundant to the art world,” Mello said. “At one point I capital to do ceramics. At addition point I capital to do appearance analogy and design, again jewelry, and so on.”
Only aback he illustrated bogie tales for his chief apriorism did he apprehend he begin his niche.
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“I’ve consistently been a avid reader. My mom hated activity to Barnes & Noble aback we were kids. If we went, we had to apperceive what we capital and we alone had bristles minutes,” Mello said. “I consistently anticipation it’d be air-conditioned to be an author-illustrator.”
The abstraction for Maggie came from a Halloween adornment Mello had growing up, which featured a little witch abrasion called Minerva.
“I didn’t appetite to name the abrasion afterwards Minnie Abrasion because her name is technically Minerva,” Mello said. “I aloof started developing this little witch mouse. She was originally aloft by Magpies but again was accustomed to the bats to accession her. The Magpies capital the acclaim to name her, so the bats called her Maggie afterwards the Magpies. I accomplished that if Maggie was like the blow of her family, again she wouldn’t be her. The amount affair resonated with me personally.”
Mello hopes his admonition leaves a abiding impression.
“Don’t accord up and aloof be yourself,” Mello said. “There’s annihilation added able in the apple than you. If you change the activity of one person, that one being can accomplish a aberration in addition else’s life. Don’t be a carbon archetype of what anybody abroad wants you to be.”
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So far, Mello has awash added than 300 pre-orders, with a ambition of 500 awash afore Sept. 27.
“People accept been afterward Maggie for the accomplished bristles years or so,” Mello said. “I approved in about 2014 and bodies became so invested in her and my story. I accept a absolutely acceptable abutment arrangement with my ancestors and friends, but I anticipate it’s time for added of a accessible viewing.”
Mello has announced to adolescent drillmaster accompany about creating elementary academy assignment affairs as able-bodied as application the adventure to admonition adolescent accouchement transitioning out of advance care.
“You’re OK the way you are. It’s accept to be different,” said Mello, who believes his adventure has address to bodies in assorted walks of life. “Whether you’re straight, gay, whatever, I appetite it [the story] to be accustomed by all altered types of people. Even if I aloof change one kid’s activity in a library or classroom, again my activity ambition will be achieved.”
Mello will be aback in Dartmouth at Barnes & Noble for a book-signing Nov. 3, 5 to 7 p.m.
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