The ninth edition of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care was released this week, celebrating the 65th Anniversary of the iconic "handbook for parents of developing children from birth through adolescence." The book was updated and revised by Dr. Robert Needlman, a teacher and practitioner of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, and an associate professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Dr. Benjamin Spock died in 1998. His seminal parenting book was published in 1946 and he gained fame for providing people with no-nonsense explanations and encouragement to trust their own instincts in raising their children. More than 50 million copies in 39 languages have been sold. After Dr. Spock's death, his widow, Mary Morgan, began collaborating with Needlman to make revisions and updates. The book's eighth edition came out in 2004. For the current edition, Morgan and Needlman decided that along with incorporating 21st century advice about such things as monitoring Internet usage and parenting in nontraditional families, the book also should feature illustrations that are more contemporary and more representative of many cultures.
So they asked Dr. Needlman's daughter, Grace, a member of the Hathaway Brown class of 2007, to be the book's contributing illustrator. Over the course of a year and a half, Grace Needlman crafted 50 new line drawings to add emphasis and explanation to several key sections of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care. Her drawings are scattered throughout the 1,100 page guide that's now receiving positive reviews from TIME magazine and others.
"I find Dr. Spock incredibly fascinating," Grace says. "His approach is a good one - I appreciate that his goal was to teach people how to trust themselves. He exists in sort of a halo around this project."
Grace always has been a gifted artist. She began her HB career as a seventh grader and she quickly found an affinity for the school's art program. She especially enjoyed drawing and creating unique collages. She fondly recalls the time she spent as an Upper Schooler engaged in interesting discussions about art with her teachers. Grace sold her first artistic work while she was at HB and in 2007, she was commissioned to paint a Hathaway Brown-themed guitar for Guitar Mania, an annual public art event to benefit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The piece she created is now on display in the HB Atrium.
After HB, Grace attended Yale University, where she majored in Painting and was recognized as the outstanding creative artist of her 2011 graduating class. She now is enrolled at Goldsmith's, University of London, where she's studying Art Theory. She eventually would like to become an art teacher.
Grace says she is honored to be a contributor to the continuing legacy of Dr. Spock, and she thoroughly enjoyed working with her father to create the latest child care guide.
"It was exciting to develop a new kind of relationship with my dad," she explains. "We had nice discussions about pediatrics, parenting, and family. I'm grateful for that."
Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care Ninth Edition is available at Amazon.com and other booksellers everywhere.