I hope you’ve been exercising your vocal chords becasue we are going to have quite a few books that will need the Happy Birthday song this year! And this one is the first for 2020…and for me, a very important one. That’s because I’ve had quite a few eye surgeries over the past 20 years…and if it weren’t for Dr. Patricia Bath, I might not be able to read or write picture book stories. So, I’m thrilled to join the chorus for Michelle Lord’s newest picture book. AND, it’s illustrated by one of my favorite artists, Alleanna Harris. Author Michelle is generously donating a copy of this beautiful book as a giveaway, so, don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered.
Written by Michelle Lord
Illustrated by Alleanna Harris
Published by Sterling Books
Here’s a short synopsis from Amazon:
The inspiring story of Dr. Patricia Bath, a groundbreaking ophthalmologist who pioneered laser surgery—and gave her patients the gift of sight.
Born in the 1940s, Patricia Bath dreamed of being an ophthalmologist at a time when becoming a doctor wasn’t a career option for most women—especially African-American women. This empowering biography follows Dr. Bath in her quest to save and restore sight to the blind, and her decision to “choose miracles” when everyone else had given up hope. Along the way, she cofounded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, invented a specialized laser for removing cataracts, and became the first African-American woman doctor to receive a medical patent.
We don’t often have an interview with the author on our Book Birthday posts, but Michelle graciously agreed to stop by and share some of her journey with this book.
As I combed through a list of Female Firsts, Dr. Patricia Bath caught my eye. She was an ophthalmologist, scientist, As I combed through a list of Female Firsts, Dr. Patricia Bath caught my eye. She was an ophthalmologist, scientist, humanitarian and inventor. She invented the Laserphaco Probe—a way to remove cataracts using lasers. My mother had recently been diagnosed with cataracts and was scheduled for this type of surgery, so I wanted to write about this amazing woman and her invention.
I spoke with Dr. Bath through a series of telephone calls. She had a passion for restoring and improving people’s vision around the world, especially in underserved communities. She knew that she would become a doctor since childhood, despite growing up in a time when society told her otherwise. Breaking the barriers of racism and sexism, Dr. Bath experienced many triumphs in her life. She was the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first African American female doctor to receive a patent. “I never had any doubts,” she said. Dr. Bath revealed that her best moment happened in North Africa where she restored a woman’s sight who had been blind for 30 years. She made the decision to “choose miracles” and use her skills to help others. Unfortunately, Dr. Bath passed away before she saw the book completed. I hope it is a testament to her hard work and kind heart.
Alleanna Harris created the wonderful illustrations for PATRICIA’S VISION: THE DOCTOR WHO SAVED SIGHT. She really captured Dr. Bath’s confidence and determination. I appreciate how Alleanna’s digital images use a similar combination of art and technology that were also an integral part of this pioneering physician’s approach to her work.
Please share Dr. Bath’s inspiring story with the children in your life.
Thank you so very much, Michelle! We loved hearing a bit of the story behind the story!
And here’s a bit about author Michelle Lord from her Amazon Author Page:
Michelle Lord grew up in Carson City, Nevada, the oldest of three sisters. Ever since she could talk, she never stopped asking questions. These questions led to a passion for reading, research, and writing. To this day–to her family’s dismay–she still interrupts movies, musicals, and conversations with Who? How? What? Where? When? Why?
When she was hospitalized as a child, books were her greatest comfort, especially FROG AND TOAD TOGETHER, ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY, and THE LORAX. And she’ll always adore how Frances sang about her love of jam in BREAD AND JAM FOR FRANCES.
Michelle Lord now lives with her family in Texas. Most days she’s tapping away on her laptop with three elderly dogs underfoot or reading stacks of picture books and marveling at the illustrations.
Her book ANIMAL SCHOOL: WHAT CLASS ARE YOU? received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. A SONG FOR CAMBODIA is a Society of School Librarians International Honor Book.
And here’s a bit about Alleanna Harris:
Alleanna Harris is a illustrator who has been drawing for as long as she can remember. As a little kid, she would draw on every page of her mom’s legal pads, doodle on her notebooks at school and on the programs at church.
She graduated from the University of Arts with a BFA in Animation with Honors, and it was during this time she realized her love for illustration.
Alleanna finds inspiration in the beauty in everyday things. Everything inspires her. In her work, she seeks to create images that are immersive, rich in color and have a sense of warmth. She lives in New Jersey.
Whenever we find books we love, we need to thank the authors and illustrators. And we can do that by buying their books, reviewing their books, telling friends about their books, and asking our libraries to purchase their books. I hope you will do one or more of those things for each book you love!
I hope you all have a wonderful week. And make sure you leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of PTRICIA’S VISION. Sharing this post on social media will earn you extra tickets in the giveaway hat!
I’ll be stopping by Beth Anderson’s blog to chat on Friday, so I hope you’ll hop over there. But please don’t forget to come back here because I’ll be featuring Beth’s newest picture book, LIZZIE DEMANDS A SEAT, for Perfect Picture Book Friday.