The Children’s Book Review | July 22, 2019
How to Have a Habit
Written by Todd Stolp, Robin Voss, and Neil Shulman
Illustrated by Todd Stolp
Age Range: 9 – 11
Publisher: STS Studios (July 15, 2019)
What to Expect: Rhyme, Bad Habits, and Smoking
Cabot, a blue critter with black spiky hair, goes fishing. When he loses his fishing pole in the water, he quickly becomes bored. With an empty mind and time to kill, he starts to make some poor decisions. He begins by eating grass, and then (with suggestions from a variety of friends) moves on to biting his nails (and his friend’s nails), clipping clothespins to his nose and tail, and bonking himself on his nose with a bat. One habit leads to the next and, when a sly snake suggests that he try smoking a cigarette, a frog is very quick to explain why smoking is a bad choice for a habit. Nevertheless, Cabot continues to smoke until his throat dries out and he begins to cough. When he spots his reflection in a lake where he has come to get a drink of water, he sees a monster. The green grass in his teeth, the peg clipped to his nose, and the bitten nails have altered his appearance and he has become unrecognizable. Afraid of the monster he sees in his reflection, Cabot makes a run for it and ultimately outruns his habits.
AuthorsTodd Stolp, Robin Voss, and Neil Shulman—who also collectively wrote The Germ Patrol (RX Humor, 1998)—have put together this catchy, rhyming, picture book with a principled message on the importance of making well-informed, healthy, and smart choices. The playful digital illustrations certainly provide a visual on just how yucky some of these habits can be.
How to Have a Habit would certainly work well as a conversation starter on peer pressure and making smart and healthy choices.
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About the Authors
S. Todd Stolp MD has authored, co-authored and illustrated four children’s books on health topics ranging from the details of a medical examination (What’s In A Doctor’s Bag, 1994) to the strategies behind vaccination (The Germ Patrol, 1998). He has lectured on Health Literacy topics around the country and co- authored a successful award-winning health literacy curriculum for 7th, 8th and 9th graders in California. Dr. Stolp’s career as a family practitioner and public health officer has included leadership roles on national public health committees and work in overseas clinics, but his current passion is translating health information into humorous tales for consumption by youth. His efforts to promote science-based health literacy with humor seek to counterbalance the onslaught of misinformation that make personal health decisions difficult for youth and adults alike.
Robin Voss is a middle school photography and creative writing teacher in South Carolina. She loves paddle boarding and kayaking.
Neil B. Shulman MD is a doctor and medical writer, who is Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at Emory University. He has conducted and published clinical research on hypertension and is the co- founder of the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks. He is the author of many books promoting medical literacy for both adults and children, as well as humor and children’s books. He is the associate producer of the 1991 film Doc Hollywood, based on one of his books. Shulman is also a comic performer on the subjects of humor and medical literacy. He often performs in fundraisers for free clinics and other charitable ventures.
Readers are invited to visit the STS Studios website at www.sts-studios.com, where a wealth of health literacy materials can be explored. How To Have A Habit can be purchased on the studio website or through Amazon Books.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This non-biased review of “How to Have a Habit” was sponsored* by S. Todd Stolp. Learn more about getting a book review …