There are 3 things I absolutely love in this life. Art, Science, and animals. Growing up, I always had a pet. From dogs to rabbits to even ducks! There is nothing like the unconditional love of a pet. As a kid I oftentimes let my imagination run wild with my art--whether it was with literature, paint, or good ol' fashion crayons. My imagination is what drew me close to science. When I was 7 years old, my dad bought me a toy microscope which I used to investigate the many bugs in my backyard. I always said I wanted to be a scientist, but I wasn't sure what type of scientist I would be until I reached highschool. At that time, I found a passion for medicine. It was the perfect combination of art and science! Today, I am a 2nd year Physician Assistant student at Emory University School of Medicine. My love for animals is still strong--I even opened up an online shop where people can order a custom portrait of their very own pet!

My book was inspired by both of my pets, Leo and Rita. Ever since I was pulled out of my clinical rotations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I've spent a lot of time at home with my pets. Leo is my 1 year old Golden Retriever puppy, who's been enjoying the extra walks and adventures with me. I thought it would be fun to teach kids about COVID-19 though the lens of my two furry best friends.

One of the challenges that I came across while writing this book was coming up with content that was appropriate for this age group. As a PA student I was inclined to write about the mode of transmission, pathophysiology, etc (in an easy to understand manner, of course!) But I knew I had to keep it simple. I've always been passionate about primary care and preventative medicine, so I thought it would be a great idea to teach kids about safety and prevention. Another challenge I had was being able to create these illustrations in only 10 days, all by myself! An accomplishment that I am proud of is completing the book and illustrations exactly how I envisioned it. I worked very hard to make sure that the story I pictured of Leo and Rita would come to life for the kids! This book was hand drawn on my iPad using the procreate app.

My book serves as a message to kids all over the world that it is ok to be sad or upset because things are a little weird right now. We can lean on our own family to get through this troubling time. From writing and illustrating this book, I learned that I really love creating children's books. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be, but it was such a fun challenge. What's next for Leo and Rita? I would love to continue making series of Leo and Rita that are science and healthcare related and educational for young children.

Built With

  • procreate
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