The tale of the StarRats grew out of Joy Moulton’s own spiritual and creative unfolding. Joy wrote the trilogy to express the essence of the many wonders, teachings, and insights she’s been blessed with so far on her 90-year journey.
Joy created her first rat dolls in the 1960s, when her young children enjoyed dressing the rats in clothes made for Barbie and Ken dolls. The StarRats’ story emerged years later while Joy was living at Aldermarsh, the home and retreat center she founded on Whidbey Island. At that time, Aldermarsh was becoming well-known for the way its intimate connection with nature inspired personal and spiritual growth.
When Joy and Tom Giffin began making felt dolls of the Star Rats’ descendants, using Joy’s rat doll design, individual characters with uplifting stories began to emerge. Joy began to wonder whether a unifying story wanted to be told. The answer came in the middle of a night in the Fall of 2008, when she woke with the StarRats’ first two stories flowing through her in rhyme. She eventually taught herself to draw and paint in watercolor so she could illustrate the StarRats’ beautiful journey
Joy has retired from Aldermarsh to a cabin she built on her daughter Sarah’s farm on Whidbey Island. The beauty and power of the Aldermarsh retreat center continue to nourish the spirits of people from around the world.