Houston-area cardiologist, family teach kids about medical conditions in new book

A local doctor and his wife are trying to teach young children important life-saving skills, through their new series of books plus bring them plenty of smiles along the way.

Dr. John Higgins and his wife, Catherine, are releasing their first of 13 books about Marvelous Maxx, meant to bring medical knowledge and big words to children.

Their own daughter, Arielle, prompted the idea, through her love of reading. Little Arielle intrigues all of the adults in her life with her big vocabulary. 

"We would be talking to her at dinner and she'd say, ‘Oh, Mommy that window is transparent, isn't it?’ She had just learned the word transparent from a ‘Fancy Nancy’ book the night before, and so not only was she learning the words, but she was actually using them," smiles Dr. Higgins.

Not only did her parents notice, her teachers also took note of her five syllable words. So the Higgins’ are continuing the trend of using more sophisticated words in their books for young kids.

"After introducing the word, we have a brief explanation of the complicated word, using simple explanations," explains Catherine.


Since Dr. Higgins is a cardiologist, he's sharing his medical knowledge to help educate children, with everything from dealing with a bee sting to bumps and bruises.

"Someone gets popcorn stuck in their throat and Maxx has to do the Heimlich. In another story, a student actually has a little seizure on the playground at school," explains Dr. Higgins.

These are things that have actually happened at schools and children may one day witness something similar. Little Maxx is the star in their books. They chose a boy for the main character because the Higgins kept hearing complaints from their friends with boys that more "good reads" need to be geared toward a boy's interest, so they're also taking that into consideration with the book series.

"They do involve both girls and boys, but there are more adventures that they can both get into, whether it be, playing soccer in another book or watching a movie," says Dr. Higgins.

The parents in the books will serve as positive examples.

"The mom in the story is a cool-headed very loving woman and engineer, and the doctor, Dr. John in the story, is a very kind doctor who has a magic of soothing kids down with the doctor visit, so they can definitely serve as role models for us, not just for boys," says Catherine.


"We also like the idea of trying to break down a little bit, what happens when you go to the doctor's office, so particularly for those kids who have a little bit of a fear of the doctor's office, by knowing what happens at the doctor's office, it won't be as scary of a place as they think," states Dr. Higgins.

All of these life lessons will target children 4-8 years old.  

Follow these links for sites for the first book, Marvelous Maxx and the Bumblebee: Amazon or Google