Tommy the Tomato Eating Elephant discovers, through his journey, that being GREEN and love tomatoes is just the thing that makes him special and unique.
Written and Illustrated by Rufus Ducote, April Hopson, and Jerome Fisher
Printed and Published by the Serpents of Bienville and Southern Cross Press
Tommy the Tomato Eating Elephant is Serpents of Bienville's first foray into a new exciting project of publishing. Tommy is a collaboration of authors, artists, printers and more, all brought together to bring you a book that will encourage and educate children at the same time. With Serpents of Bienville being a collective, we thought that Tommy was the perfect representation of what our project tries to do.
Rufus Ducote has been a friend of mine since I was a young kid, skateboarding and listening to the breeders. Through the years, his attitude, his humor, his general outlook all became things that I looked up to. Genuine would be the word I would use to describe Rufus. I was so proud to watch him perform on the Tonight Show, so proud to see him in music videos, and so proud to see the art he created when he decided to start creating. When I was starting the first steps in the Serpents of Bienville project, Rufus was someone that I shared every idea I had with. When I decided that the project would expand from the original prints I had drawn to delve more into writing and eventually a book, Rufus was the one I told about it. At the same time, Rufus would share with me the project he was working on, a children’s book about a green elephant that loves tomatoes. The more he talked about his ideas, the more I could envision a world centered on this elephant, and how it could be used to encourage kids to be themselves, and to no be afraid or ashamed of it.
When we decided to expand Serpents of Bienville into publishing, Rufus and his book about Tommy the elephant first came to mind. We partnered with our good friend Jeff Ensminger at Southern Cross Press to start doing publishing. When approaching Rufus, his excitement for the project was contagious, spreading to Jeff and fueling the book and prints that were created. Unknowingly Tommy the tomato eating elephant became a reflection on us and our project. The amount of people, working together that created the final product showed us so much about the importance of community and trust in the creation process. You can learn pick up your own copy of “Tommy the Tomato Eating Elephant” at our website www.serpentsofbienville.com, or in our store located at 754 Government Street in Mobile.
We at Serpents of Bienville are hosting Tommy the Elephant and creator Rufus Ducote at the art walk on Friday November 11th, starting at 6pm. Check out the event here. There will be first edition books for sale along with limited edition beautiful fine art prints of some selected scenes from the book, printed by our good friends at Southern Cross Press. With your purchase you can also grab a free sticker and audio recording of the book being read by some of Rufus’s friends and family. Tommy’s story centers on learning from others, and that is reflected in the creation of this project, being a collaboration in so many different ways on this journey.
Rufus refers to saying, “It’s a wonder story about self love and acceptance.”
You can learn more about Tommy, his wonderful creator Rufus Ducote, and their journey by listening to our podcast here. We talk to Rufus about Tommy’s origins, and how the book is reflection of his journey, his growth, and the steps he took to love himself, which is always our ultimate goal and purpose.
Follow Tommy for updates here.