Aruba Today recently had the honor to meet the Lipoffs from Maryland, a remarkable American family that fell in love with Aruba a long time ago. We met at the Red Anchor in San Nicolas for a very special reason. Here it is where the book ‘Super Coco; “Will You Be My Friend” was born. An idea that sprouted out of an encounter between a black rooster and a pigeon. “This is a book about making friendships, diversity, acceptance, animals, the habitat and all with a backdrop of our beloved Aruba,” says Jay M. Lipoff.
Julie and Jay with their two sons come to the island frequently, and the book has played an important role in their visits since it was published. “I have been visiting Aruba since 1998. It’s a wonderful place, and now with my family, we head out every couple of years.” The last time they were here they came across a black rooster and a pigeon hanging out together day after day near Seroe Colorado, on the way to Baby Beach. “We chuckled and started to make up a story. We named the rooster Coco because he was near a vendor’s ice chest with Super Coco written on the side of it.” The story went from there and eventually resulted in a colorful book with amazing illustrations showing Aruba’s animals in their natural habitat. The book not only has a deeper message that is important to children, but is also shows the island’s typical flora and fauna. In a playful way children learn that it is okay to have a friend that looks very different from themselves.
The book has brought the Lipoffs friendships for sure. An example is with Mr. Coco, the man that sel
ls the coconut water on the side of the road near the anchor. The family connects easily with the local community, and that is what they love to do. “We try to absorb as much of local life as possible while we are here, and support local restaurants and venues. Every time we come here we buy Mr. Coco’s desserts, we are all hooked on his sweets”, Jay says laughing. The family donates a portion of the proceeds back to animal organizations in Aruba concerned with the health of the animals and finding them homes.
Super Coco not only fascinates children in Aruba, the Lipoffs have brought the book under the attention of schools in the United States too. “I just read it to a 3rd grade class and they loved it. I showed them pictures of all of the animals from my trips and we discussed visiting Aruba,” Jay says. He has written the book together with his wife Julie over the last two years and it is now published on Amazon, and for sale in Bruna Bookstore on the island. The author is sorting out to get more books to the island to make sure that more children get to know Super Coco, and his story about friendship and acceptance. As Lipoff wrote on Facebook: “We would like to bring this message to #childreneverywhere about understanding the difficulties that come with making new #friends, but also about opening their hearts and having a willingness to welcome new ones regardless of their differences; learning how amazing Aruba is with its diversity of culture and people, as well as, learning about the island of #Aruba and the #animals that live there.”
For more information: Facebook Super Coco.