The cover caught my eye at the Broadwell Cottage in Milton. And the title “Kangaroo had the Flu… and her friends have problems too!” seemed so appropriate for the cold and flu season we are experiencing right now.
This book features catchy rhyming lyrics, and the watercolors beautifully illustrate each animal. When I found out the artist was a University of Florida alumni, I had to investigate more.
I spoke to the authors Erin Hinshaw and Susie Himes — a mother and daughter team — and got the Scoop on the story and the future of 4 Doors Away, the name of their company (which was derived from the two literally living four doors away from each other for a long time!).
The pair created this book together after a time when Erin was home sick. They had tossed around several ideas before, but this one stuck since Erin’s daughter has Crohn’s Disease, her nephew has Type I Diabetes, and her niece has Celiac Disease.
This book is designed to help children feel comfort in knowing that others have illness, and for children to have compassion for those who might be sick. Their future goal is to write more specific books on each disease that can be used in doctor’s offices and hospitals.
The rhyming poems of these animals with illnesses seem to come naturally — maybe because Erin worked at a veterinary clinic for a few years, and her mom has been in the health care industry for 20+ years. The combination of their passions was the perfect book theme.
Erin’s daughter suggested they talk to her OTP art teacher Paula Sadler to be the artist. The watercolor images were exactly what they wanted. After a few attempts, they finally got the book they had envisioned.
Their books are available on their website, at The Chandlery in Roswell and Broadwell Cottage in Milton, Books for Less in the Northpoint location, and on Amazon. You might come across some copies in local doctor offices and schools, too! So, if your little one is sick, or you have a friend’s child who can use this book, think of our local Made OTP authors.