I'm happy to announce that my newest children's book Teddy Bear Doctor hit bookshelves this week! The colorful, fun, make & play activity book was inspired by my daughter Maisie who used to love playing vet with her stuffed animals. I remember one day when she was home from elementary school with a fever, I thought she was napping, but I peeked in her room and she was wearing a make-shift lab coat and playing vet on her stuffed animals. She made paper towel casts and slings, wrote down the animals' temperatures, checked their heart beats, and filled out pretend prescriptions on her clipboard.
It is wonderful to watch little kids loose themselves in pretend play (and see Maria Montessori quote "Play is the work of the child," in action). As I wrote this book, I wanted to spark imaginative play and kick off hours of creativity. The book features crafts (a pipe cleaner stethoscope and other doctor kit tools), a t-shirt lab coat, pull-out nurse hats and headlamps, and forms to fill out (RX, patient exam forms), plus tons of band-aid and get well soon stickers. The book has learning sidebars from real vets, too (both my sister Hillary Cook and my neighbor Lauren Atkins added their expertise).
The book was brought to life by the talented team at Storey publishing, the photographer Julie Bidwell, and crafter Maryellen Sullivan who I worked on the FamilyFun craft kits. The models came to my house and we set up a waiting room, vet office, front desk, and recovery room—and it was adorable to watch them fix all the boo boos on their stuffed animals.
All in all, the book makes a fun (inexpensive!) birthday present or classroom teacher gift. I promise it will keep your kids busy for hours of pretend play on a sick day (like it did with Maisie)!
P.S. The Eric Carle Museum will be hosting the launch event on August 13th from 10 to 11:30. Bring your stuffed animals and get ready to fix that plush puppy with a sprained ankle!