Neurosurgeon Cargill H. Alleyne Jr. hopes that children will take a page from his book and get excited about human anatomy.
And Alleyne, professor and Marshall Allen Distinguished Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, is doing what he can to influence them. He recently published his second children’s book, “Bart’s Heart,” which is part of a series of children’s books that he is writing about the human body.
“I want to encourage young kids to think about science, and this is a fun, unique way to do it,” Alleyne says. “If you can lead them in the right direction, they may get turned onto something.”
“Bart’s Heart” follows his first book, “Ned’s Head,” which was published in 2012 and includes limericks that examine what’s inside a little boy’s head. The interactive books, geared toward 7- to 13-year-olds, include catchy rhymes, colorful illustrations and a glossary of definitions and pronunciations of medical terms associated with the heart and brain.
Colby Polonsky, a medical illustrator in the school’s Neurosurgery Department, included a small heart in each of her illustrations for Alleyne’s latest book. Michael Jensen, now an assistant professor in Augusta University’s Department of Medical Illustration, concealed small brains in each picture in “Ned’s Head.”
As the director of MCG’s neurosurgery residency program, Alleyne teaches young physicians to hone their skills and to become specialized in the field.
“Many of them are following in someone’s footsteps,” he says, “but if your parents aren’t in medicine or science, you may not be exposed to this.”
“Bart’s Heart” won a second-place award at the 2015 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, and “Ned’s Head” received an honorable mention at the 2012 Fall Royal Dragonfly Book Awards. The books are available at local bookstores or online at amazon.com.
Alleyne plans to publish additional books including “Joan’s Bones,” “Nelly’s Belly” and “Malichi’s Eye.”