Doctors as Teachers

Earlier this month, the world lost an amazing doctor.  The thing is that it's not only a loss for the children's hospital that he tirelessly advocated for and for the patients and families he took care of, it's a huge loss for the doctors he was training.

Kat Writes a Song

In Kat Writes a Song by Greg Foley, Kat works hard to create a song, and then she second-guesses herself.  We've all been there. Thinking we're creating something fantastic, especially as a writer, and then we start to let the doubts creep in.  What I admire about Foley's story is that he shows Kat persevering through the creative process, and then sharing her joy.

Seb and the Sun

In Seb and the Sun, we follow Seb and Walrus through their very specific coastal town and community.  And as we follow this close-knit community, Seb realizes that something is missing and he knows exactly how to go find it.  Gigot contrasts the brightness and darkness in her illustrations, creating a beautiful reflection of each other.

First Pages: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

"Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids. They were sent to the house of an old Professor who lived in the heart of the country, ten miles from the nearest railway station and two miles from the nearest post office. He had no wife and he lived in a very large house with a housekeeper called Mrs. Macready and three servants."

~The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Different Like Coco

It may be news to you but I've always been a bit obsessed with fashion designers.  I learned to sew when I was a kid and I loved to fiddle with my clothes or make them my own when I was a teen.  Just little things here and there.  And while I still love to make things, I don't have a talent for pattern making.

Hufflepuff Letterman Jacket Upcycling

My mom has slowly been giving me things from my childhood room over the years.  I have no idea what to do with my spelling and academic trophies, but I did know that when she handed over my letterman jacket from varsity cheer, I was reluctant to donate it.

Then I had an immediate epiphany.  Though I went to an all-girls school, I cheered for the all-boys school counterpart....and their colors were HUFFLEPUFF HOUSE COLORS.  Well, I happen to know a very loyal Hufflepuff in my house, Little Lion!

Niko Draws a Feeling

Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka is about learning to look at the world with different eyes, or at least accepting that others may see the world in different ways than you do.  I parallel Niko with some of my patients who express themselves differentlyβ€”maybe they have autism, maybe they have a different artist's eye than I do, maybe they don't speak yet (or at all). But they may have specific ways of communicating with others.

My type of PTSD

By definition, PTSD doesn't really go away....it's just that not everyone understands that I have PTSD.  I didn't know it myself until I heard my therapist say it off-hand.  Like it was a given.  And that it was okay.

Just like I didn't realize that I had 'depression' until she said it.  I thought I was grieving.  But I also wasn't functioning as well.  So "acute depression" it is.  It's interesting that we tend to stay away from 'labels' and 'diagnoses' even as medical professionals.  But, years later, I can say that I had depression.  And that it was okay.  I'm okay.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen

One book I came across was Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Qin Leng.  It's no secret that I'm an Austenite.  I even endured that film about her with Anne Hathaway (Becoming Jane).  And I took a course on Austen as a grad student that was purely for the delight of discussing all of her works. 

So I've always known that Jane Austen was extraordinary.

Love is Love is Love is Love

I thought Love was a beautiful and inclusive ode to the many ways that we see love in our every day.  What I loved most was how tactile everything felt in the story.  De La Pena spun his words so I could see every image in my mind--besides what was on the page--and what's more I could feel the scent in the air, hear the music notes being played.

First Pages: A Wrinkle in Time

"It was a dark and stormy night.

In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed an watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the tress clouds scudded frantically across the sky.  Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraith-like shadows that raced along the ground.

The house shook.

Wrapped in her quilt, Meg shook."

" A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle