HOUSTON--With its 1998 Holiday Collection, the Childrens Art Project rings in its silver anniversary--25 years of cards and gifts designed by pediatric patients at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. New this year is a childrens book, Bunnies in my Head, by Tricia Tusa with art from the children of M.D. Anderson.
The book, priced at $20, celebrates the power of childrens imagination, incorporating Tusas watercolor illustrations with more than 25 original works of art created by young patients for the Childrens Art Project. Ms. Tusas works have been featured in the New York Times Book Review Bookshelf, the American Bookseller "Pick of the List," and on PBS Storytime and Reading Rainbow.
The 32-page hard cover book includes an afterword by former First Lady Barbara Bush. Mrs. Bush calls the book "often exuberant, sometimes thoughtful . . . a remarkable statement about the resilience of children, their courage, and their ability to live each day. . . . Bunnies in my Head is a book to be shared over and over with children, grandchildren, and friends of all ages. It will encourage everyone to celebrate the joys of today and to imagine even happier tomorrows." The last word in the book is "tomorrow," and Mrs. Bush writes that when her daughter, Robin, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1953, "there were few tomorrows for children with cancer."
Sales from the catalog, including a record $1 million in 1997, allow the project to fund patient-focused programs at M.D. Anderson. The project provides funds for child life specialists who are trained to provide therapeutic play activities and offer emotional support to young cancer patients. Funding allows young patients educational needs to be met in a variety of ways, including hospital classrooms and a school liaison program.
Last summer, some 150 youngsters attended summer camp, thanks to funding from the project, and this fall, 60 young adults are attending college with help from project-funded scholarships. Additional programs include a ski trip for amputee patients, music therapy programs, and pediatric parties at the hospital.
The product line has expanded from five holiday cards in 1974 to more than 80 items in 1998, including valentines, note cards, gift bags, tote bags, aprons, scarves, ties, T-shirts, ornaments, sta-tionery, and, new this year, a sterling silver angel pin.
To place an order for the book or request the 1998 catalog, call 1-800-231-1580 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or 713-792-6266 (in Houston); fax to 713-794-1950; or write to the Childrens Art Project, P.O. Box 297532, Houston, TX 77297. The deadline for imprinting of cards is Nov. 16. The project also has a website at www.mdanderson.org.