Gillette Children’s Healthcare Press has released Proud To Be Me, a colorful new board book designed to teach toddlers about children of all abilities. Proud To Be Me was written by Gillette Children’s pediatric hand surgeons Ann Van Heest, MD and Deborah Bohn, MD. It is illustrated by Rick Korab.
Proud To Be Me is a board book that teaches children about physical differences and promotes self-confidence. Whether it’s surgery that gave a child a thumb, a guide dog that helps them see or a prosthesis that allows them to run, Proud To Be Me teaches children to love and accept themselves for who they are. The book uses simple text and easy-to-understand illustrations to encourage children to be proud of their differences.
It is the fourth book published by Gillette Press, founded by Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. It is one of the only children’s hospitals in the world that publishes books for children, families and professionals.
Proud To Be Me teaches toddlers about physical differences in multiple different body parts (fingers, hair, eyes, ears, legs, feet) showcasing that our differences make us unique and something to be proud of, the authors said. Advocacy and celebrating differences are vital in fostering a world that embraces inclusivity.
Proud To Be Me was funded by the James House, MD, MS, Fund for Hand and Upper Extremity Excellence at Gillette Children’s. All of the proceeds from the book go back to the fund to support ongoing research and care by Gillette’s orthopedic hand and upper extremity team. The book is available on Amazon.
A series of books authored by experts at Gillette Children‘s that provides in-depth understanding of conditions treated at the hospital is coming soon. Gillette Children’s Healthcare Press is dedicated to creating greater understanding of complex medical conditions. Gillette Press was established in March 2020, right before the pandemic, to coincide with the publication of Spastic Diplegia. In June 2021, Pure Grit: Stories of Remarkable People Living with Physical Disability was published. It’s Okay to Ask is an earlier publication that was translated to Spanish in 2023. Over the next two years the press will publish further books on conditions treated at Gillette Children’s.
Gillette Children’s specializes in treating children who have brain, bone and movement conditions.