Bringing together a background in medicine and a drive to teach children how to live healthier lives, Dr. Wellner explains how her career inspired her picture book series, Doctoroo.
I developed the concept of Doctoroo as a medical student. A Kangaroo doctor felt like a very natural character. At the time, I was being exposed to all topics in medicine and formed a strong basis in primary care. A surgeon has to maintain a strong knowledge base in primary care, both in adult and pediatric medicine, so I am relatively well-versed in medicine despite being a subspecialist.
I have always loved kids and wanted to develop a teaching tool to keep them healthy and happy, which is how Doctoroo was conceived. Once I established that the main character was a kangaroo, I developed the other animal characters that I felt would best complement her, Kirby Koala, Terence Toad and Louie Llama. Just as in medicine, a doctor often works with a team consisting of other physicians, nurses, technicians, etc.
I package that in the form of a mystery to keep kids and their parents engaged in the story.
I base each story on the concept of a differential diagnosis, having Doctoroo rule out common causes of the symptoms a particular animal or group of animals are complaining of. I package that in the form of a mystery to keep kids and their parents engaged in the story. As the mystery is solved, children are taught a valuable health lesson such as eating healthy, the value of proper handwashing, or sun protection.
For more information about the author or her latest book, visit Book Review + Giveaway: Doctoroo and the Case of the Missing Hot Dogs and Marshmallows.