BookLife Talks with Nicole Audet
A sponsored Q&A with the author of Special Food for SamAudet, known as Dr. Nicole, is the author of the Felix and Booboo children’s books, a series that is designed to help children and their caregivers discuss medical issues. We speak with her about the challenges of explaining these complex topics to young readers. More information is available at drnicolebook.com.
How and why did you begin writing the Felix and Booboo books?
As a child I was fascinated by picture books. I dreamed of becoming an author, but became a doctor first. My daughter-in-law, who died of lung cancer, loved the stories I wrote and made me promise to never give up on my dream. Eventually, I started to write children’s stories about the human body. The Felix and Booboo series currently includes eight books, each available in both English and in French. They cover gastroenteritis, vaccination, lice, otitis, broken arms, chicken pox, allergies, and the human body.
In my latest book, Special Food for Sam, Felix faces a big challenge: he must bake special cookies for his friend Sam who is allergic to eggs, nuts, and cow’s milk. He asks Booboo, his magical stethoscope, to help him prevent these ingredients from jumping into the cookie dough.
These topics can be hard for kids to understand. How do you make them accessible to children?
Picture books that teach health, diseases, and the human body to children are not readily available. In the tradition of Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss, I decided to breathe life into my medical instruments to engage children in powerful ways. Medical books currently on the market for children are too difficult for them to understand and the text is too long. My books fill a gap in that specific area.
My target audience is children 4 to 8 years of age. Emerging readers love my series because the books are less than 1,000 words each and include beautiful illustrations. Teachers like to use my books to educate children about health, common diseases, and the human body. They also love to use the quizzes at the end of each book to challenge children’s reading skills and critical thinking.
How has your work as a doctor and educator informed your writing?
In addition to my medical degree, I have a master’s in medical education. I teach pediatrics and family medicine at McGill University and Montreal University, so I have full knowledge of the topics I write about. In addition to this series, I have written other children’s books, as well as a peer-reviewed health guide for parents. I have also won many literary book awards and have sold more than 150,000 books. These accomplishments, combined with my medical and teaching background, give me solid credentials to write books for children on health topics.
Learn more about Special Food for Sam.