PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Louisiana native, Keith Polk, M.D., an anesthesiologist turned children's author, debuts his first book, The Mardi Grasfish (Crawfish), in time for New Orleans' biggest party, Mardi Gras, which kicks off in January and concludes on February 9, 2016.
The 24 page picture storybook, featuring the colorful, stylized art of Eric Miranda, is the tale of a kindhearted crawfish named Crawfrere, who writes to the mayor of New Orleans to convince him that his physically and emotionally-challenged friends from the bayou should win a local contest to ride the main float in the Mardi Gras parade. Mayor Billy the Big Mouth Bass is so moved by Crawfrere's letter that he selects him and his friends to join the "Krewe of Compassion" that builds and rides the main float in the parade.
Crawfrere's bayou pals – nearsighted Oculo the Oyster, slow-talking Creole the Catfish, puny Sauté the shrimp, and Pecan the Pelican, who can't fly straight – are lifted out of obscurity to become the toast of Mardi Gras and New Orleans. For the first time, they feel proud of who they are. Mayor Billy is so impressed by Crawfrere's selflessness that he dubs him "King of the Mardi Gras," and says Crawfrere is no longer a mere "crawfish," but will forever be known as "The Mardi Grasfish."
The Mardi Grasfish was inspired by Polk's love of Louisiana's rustic landscapes and colorful characters, but more importantly, by the children he has treated as a physician. Polk, now a resident of the Pasadena area, California, has been a physician for 35 years. He feels tremendous compassion for the young people he has comforted before and after surgery as they have faced some of the most frightening moments of their lives without a parent by their side. He has assured his littlest patients that they're special, offering them the kind of love and acceptance that he learned in the southern countryside. Polk says, "I'm a lot like Crawfrere, who teaches his friends that the sky's the limit, and that they can overcome their disadvantages to accomplish their dreams."
The author was born and raised in Bogalusa, Louisiana, 70 miles north of New Orleans. He started attending Mardi Gras as a little boy and still thinks it's one of the best parties on earth: "Who wouldn't love a parade where they throw sparkly beads and candy at you?" Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" in French and signifies the culmination of the carnival season. The Mardi Grasfish is the first in a trilogy of Crawfrere stories that explore the ways Fat Tuesday is celebrated around the globe. The next two books are set in Brazil and France. The Mardi Grasfish was produced by Judy O Productions and retails for $18.35 at www.themardigrasfish.com and in Pasadena, California at Vroman's Bookstores and The Huntington Hospital gift shop. A Kindle Edition of the book is also available on Amazon for $2.99.
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SOURCE Keith Polk M.D.