Doodling for a Good Cause

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Lidia Bastianich drew a pear and Eric Carle drew a cat for National Doodle Day. Now a group of publishers is encouraging booksellers to get involved in the May 12th celebration to raise awareness of Neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder affecting one in 3,000 children. Booksellers can help support the work of the nonprofit organization Neurofibromatosis Inc. by hosting doodling events in their store on Doodle Day or anytime that week.

Albert Whitman & Company, Chronicle Books, Gibbs Smith Publishers, Macmillan Children’s Book Group, and Running Press have created a joint promotion and an activity guide for National Doodle Day online. Suggested activities include asking kids and adults to draw their own doodles and creating displays of doodles and doodle titles, while sharing information about the disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve endings and is more common than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, and Huntington’s Disease combined.

The national Doodle Day website,, also features an online celebrity auction of doodles by Daniel Pinkwater, Mo Willems, Peter Reynolds, and others. Getting authors and illustrators to contribute doodles was “extremely easy,” said Michelle Bayuk, director of marketing for Albert Whitman & Company. “Doodle Day spoke for itself – a good cause with a fun way to participate.”

Children’s book publishers often work together on projects, Bayuk noted, adding, “For our new book Doodleday by Ross Collins, we wanted to partner with NF, Inc. on their Doodle Day fundraiser. It was a natural for us to involve other publishers, since this would make for a better Doodle Day for NF, Inc. The other publishers were all enthusiastic from the beginning, no arm twisting was necessary.” Funds raised from the auction will go to support NF Inc.’s education, advocacy, research, and coalition-building efforts.

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