Bookie And the Scoliosis Diagnosis | Sketches

By heather at 4:47 am on Wednesday, August 15, 2007

scoliosis children story illustration

Illustrations Heather Castles, Story Nina Saab

I’ve been having fun working with author Nina Saab on her first children’s book, “Bookie and the Scoliosis Diagnosis.” Scoliosis is when a person’s spine grows in a curvy ‘S’ shape rather than straight (you can learn more about Scoliosis on Wikipedia.) The story is a lot of fun, with great characters to illustrate. The book is going to be published in time for for the National Scoliosis Day in Ottawa, Canada this coming November 2007, so the deadline is tight, tight, tight! The sketches were approved just this week, and I’ll be starting the watercolour illustrations next week, so stay tuned! Here are a few sketches from the story…

scoliosis children story illustration

The book opens with Bookie’s ballet teacher phoning Bookie’s Mom to tell her she thinks Bookie may have scoliosis. I love the ballet classroom setting, especially for little kids, as I always imagine the cute chaos as all the little angels attempt to do these beautifully graceful poses, all the while simply looking like a bunch of little girls pretending to be princessess in their tutus.

scoliosis children story illustration

While Bookie’s mom is calling Dr. Healy (love her name,) Bookie and her brother listen in. I love it how kids sometimes have to peak up over tables and rails to see what’s going on.

scoliosis children story illustration

Throughout the story, you’ll notice Bookie’s little brother, who is probably like most little brothers and wants to be included in all the action… and he’s right in the action here, whether he’s wanted or not! I love his enthusiasm for what his sister’s going through… even if he’s a little annoying at times, rummaging through doctor’s drawers… but I think he’s cute even if a little too curious!

scoliosis children story illustration

This might be a bit oversimplistic… a big scary box for the X-Ray machine! I went and had an x-ray a few months back, and even though I’m an adult, I still found the unknown machine in front of me a little intimmidating, and couldn’t even remember what it looked like… just that it was big & scary! Which is why I didn’t try to make it exactly like a real X-ray machine… just big & mysterious and a little domineering for poor Bookie!

scoliosis children story illustration

I love the expressions kids get when something scary but fun is about to happen… like getting told you’re going to get hit with a snowball. You tightly close your eyes and bunch up your fists and wait excitedly for it to happen! That’s the feeling I wanted to capture when Bookie was having her first X-ray done.

scoliosis children story illustration

Heh, again Bookie’s little brother is interrupting Dr. Fixie Bones… gotta love him.

Okalie dokalie, will post some snaps of the watercolours once they’re all set up!

Filed under: work in progress, sketches, childrens books, Bookie and the Scoliosis Diagnosis


Get your own gravatar for comments by visiting

Comment by Rich Cantrell

November 25, 2007 @ 5:31 am

The book looks great and I love your insight and comments on how kids think and feel. It certainly shows in your illustrations. Good luck on meeting the deadline. I am aware of this topic being an elementary school principal. Books like this will certainly help explain this condition to young girls.
We plan on shipping your Baby Max books today. Rich

Get your own gravatar for comments by visiting

Comment by Deb Styba

February 28, 2008 @ 9:05 am

Looking for books on scoliosis for our school library, I came upon the sketches web site. It would have been nice if chiropractic care was included as an alternative. There are several chiros that specialize in scoliosis care and are quite successful.

Get your own gravatar for comments by visiting

Comment by Rin

March 8, 2008 @ 4:01 am

Very interesting and amazing way to explain to the kid about Scoliosis… You did a great job!

Get your own gravatar for comments by visiting

Comment by Sir Dryfuse

April 28, 2008 @ 5:42 pm

I like how you presented scoliosis in a very friendly informational manner. I remember when I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12; it was pretty terrifying. Nice write up and I like the illustrations.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment