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Mother-Daughter Teamwork

By Gretchen Koss for The Island Eye News

Sullivan’s Island native Dorothea Benton Frank passed away in 2019, leaving behind literally millions of fans and a long list of bestselling novels. Now her legacy includes her only children’s book, co-authored by her daughter, a story about a standout kid who learns to stick up for himself and the things he loves.

“Teddy Spaghetti,” the creation of the mother-daughter team of the bestselling writer and Victoria Benton Frank, who lives on Johns Island, and illustrator Renée Andriani, was released May 12. The book, for children ages 4 through 8, is loosely based on the life of Victoria’s son Teddy.

Teddy really loves spaghetti, but what he doesn’t love is getting teased at school. When he takes his favorite food for lunch, a bully calls him a notso-nice name: Teddy Spaghetti.

Will Teddy let his new, unwanted nickname prevent him from enjoying what he loves most?

You’ll need to read the book to find out, but one thing is certain: It will encourage kids to be themselves and to take a bite – or maybe a slurp – out of life.

“Dottie” Frank produced 20 novels and was described by the New York Journal of Books as “an author who never fails to entertain.”

Among her creations were “By Invitation Only,” “The Last Original Wife,” “Porch Lights,” “The Hurricane Sisters” and “Sullivan’s Island.” Her final adult novel was “Queen Bee,” which was released in 2019.

Dorothea Benton Frank is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of humane Letters from the College of Charleston, a doctorate of fine arts from Bloomfield College and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the Charleston School of Law.

In 2015, she was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of authors and has been honored many times for her work raising awareness about domestic violence and for her community service.

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