Pharmacist pens story for children


A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down - and this children's book should too.

To make the idea of taking medicine less scary for children, author Donna Keissami, a PharmD with a lifelong yen for writing, has produced “Maddie Visits the Pharmacist,” a story for children between the ages of two and 10.

Donna KeissamiThe 24-page soft-cover book, abundantly illustrated by Kresnha Zulkarnaen, tells the story of a little girl whose fearful resistance to taking medication for strep throat may keep her from her own birthday party - that is, until her neighborhood pharmacist steps in, recognizes the problem, mixes up some grape-flavored antibiotic, and cautions her to take every dose. At her birthday party, the little girl is delighted to see the pharmacist, who brings her a wonderful gift.

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Unmet need

“I’ve always wanted to write a children’s story,” said Keissami, who graduated from USC School of Pharmacy in 2008 and has worked for much of the time since then as a licensed pharmacist. “I spent most of my time on education, and writing a children’s book enabled me to let my creative juices flow.”

The decision to make the story about a pharmacist was a natural one.

“When I started to formulate the story, I couldn’t find any children’s books about pharmacists. Pharmacists are important healthcare providers; we’re typically the first healthcare professional that patients visit. So to make a pharmacist the main character seemed obvious to me.”

Teaching tool

Keissami’s pharmacist friends tell her that the book is an easy way for them to give their own children an idea of what they do at work. It also serves as a helpful aid to mothers and fathers trying to dose their recalcitrant offspring.

See also: The pharmacist as author

“Children are generally not the easiest patients when it comes to accepting medication,” said Keissami. “It’s helpful for kids to read about another child who was sick and ultimately felt better. It makes them better prepared to cope with their own illness. Whenever I have to give my three-year-old son medication,” she added, “I remind him about Maddie in the book, and it has made what used to be a painful ordeal much easier. He willingly opens his mouth and accepts his medicine.”

“Maddie Visits the Pharmacist” is available from ( To contact the author, e-mail

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