“Will You Play With Me?” a children’s book by Dr. Chitra Dinakar, a thought leader in the field of food allergy, depicts a series of heartwarming scenarios to model empathy and inclusivity for young children exposed to individuals with disabilities.
In this captivating children’s book, characters subtly embrace each other’s differences and reframe ways to interact meaningfully and play together. The child engaging in the kind and caring action is rewarded by appreciation and fun.
Illustrations in the book are by Akshay Dinakar, who is a product designer who graduated from Stanford University. He is an entrepreneur focused on the intersection of engineering and personal wellness.
Loving children comes naturally to this physician of Indian origin. The opportunity to help care for the health and well-being of children, was compelling and irresistible, which inspired her to take up this noble Medical profession.
On graduating as the valedictorian from high-school, she was fortunate to be selected to join one of the premier medical institutions in India, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER).
Dr. Dinakar is a Clinical Professor at Stanford University and a nationally renowned pediatrician and allergist/immunologist. She believes it is vital to nurture young children, who are naturally accepting and impressionable, to be sensitive to the challenges of disability.
According to Dr. Dinakar, “I wrote this book mainly to spread awareness and encourage empathy, and to raise money for cancer and disabilities research and cure.”
“I have been working on this book with Akshay on this book for some months now. The idea came to me when I was paralyzed from the intrathecal methotrexate toxicity, in July 2019,” says Dr. Dinakar about the origins of the book. “However, I have been mostly in the hospital or infusion centers, and it was hard to make time and energy for this. But we are very excited, Amazon has published the book online.”