“There’s a lack of diversity amongst cartoon characters, and I think it’s important for children to see themselves.”
New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) June 21, 2017
“There’s a lack of diversity amongst cartoon characters, and I think it’s important for children to see themselves,” says Chad Valiant, the creator of the cartoon character Chester Leo: The Puppy Dog & his seven animated friends. “I wanted to create a group of characters from different backgrounds and bring some diversity to the cartoon world.”
Chester Leo: The Puppy Dog Store is an online store for children featuring Chester Leo: The Puppy Dog & seven animated characters from different ethnic backgrounds. Each cartoon character is printed across a wide array of merchandise, including t-shirts, posters, pillows and tote bags. The eight cartoon characters are based on Chad’s real-life experiences and interests.
“I didn’t want to create a random collection of characters from different ethnic backgrounds,” Chad continues. “The characters needed to be authentic.”
The cartoon characters in Chester Leo: The Puppy Dog Store all form a unique bond, and are part of a fictional story. Amongst them, Cindy Rodifer: The Inquisitive Girl is cute little girl from Thailand, one of Chad’s favorite countries. Noah Rodifer: The Cartographer Lad is an African-American boy who always has a map in hand.
“When I was a kid, I dreamed of traveling the world,” Chad says. “Noah’s curiosity about the world around him reflects that. His adopted brother Tommy Rodifer, was born in Barcelona, one of my favorite cities. The Rodifer family is rounded out by Corey Rodifer: The Easygoing Lad, a charming blonde character with an easygoing demeanor and an adorable smile.”
Though the Rodifer children are adopted and from different backgrounds, they have a bond which is just as strong and biological siblings. The star of the show is Chester Leo: The Puppy Dog, a cute little puppy dog who lives around the corner with the Hampton brothers.
“Everyone loves Chester Leo,” Chad explains. “The cute smile and the wagging tail, Chester Leo is the bridge between the Rodifer children and the Hampton brothers. Each child will soon learn they each possess a special gift, and there’s a reason they’ve all been brought together.”
In addition to the retail store, there’s an upcoming book ‘Chester Leo & The Haunted House of Clayton’, which will be released on September 15th. The first in a series of adventure books for children, ‘Chester Leo & The Haunted House of Clayton’ takes place in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, Missouri.
“The story revolves around the buildup to Halloween,” Chad explains. “Chester Leo and the Rodifer children are very excited as they get ready for trick or treating and a visit to the new haunted house in the city. Unfortunately for them, the house really is haunted.”
The story was created as an homage to the city of Clayton, where Chad grew up. The fictional universe in the books was created with different ethnic characters so that children of all ethnic backgrounds could have a character with which they identify.
“The story of the haunted house and how it pertains to Chester Leo and his friends opens up an entire world of adventure which will be explored in subsequent books,” Chad explains. “Each character soon learns they must develop their special gifts if they want to battle the forces of evil. It’s the classic story of good vs. evil. The stakes will get progressively higher in each subsequent book, culminating in a thrilling ending. The overriding theme in the books is that regardless of our different backgrounds, we can stand together to fight evil.”
You can learn more about The Chester Leo: The Puppy Dog! and his amazing friends at http://www.chesterleo.com.