Cartoonist Guy Gilchrist is a longtime Nashville resident and the artist behind Jim Henson’s The Muppets comic strip. His work has been syndicated in newspapers across the globe and has even been displayed in the Smithsonian. Guy’s latest masterpiece? A series of coloring book pages and original artwork that parents and teachers can print for free and use to help children make sense of the Covid-19 pandemic. Guy’s illustrations include Pink Panther wearing a protective face mask, Bugs Bunny thanking healthcare heroes, and Baby Yoda practicing social distancing. Many of these completed coloring sheets have been sent directly to hospitals in order to bring some cheer to associates.missing or outdated ad config
These coloring sheets are the brainchild of Guy and Dr. Karen Tsai. Dr. Tsai works in Los Angeles and went to medical school in Long Island, but she’s made a huge impact across North America as a co-founder of DonatePPE.org. This new organization has already distributed more than 1.3 million items of personal protective equipment to health systems (including Ascension Saint Thomas facilities) since the first weeks of the Covid-19 crisis. Dr. Tsai and her colleagues at DonatePPE.org recently realized that, while many organizations are doing wonderful work to help adults understand the risks of Covid-19 exposure, few educational platforms exist specifically for children. In hopes of collaborating on a series of coloring book pages for kids, Dr. Tsai reached out to artists around the country. Guy was the first to respond to her call for help and he did it with enthusiasm.
“Guy is such a pure soul and one of the best people I’ve ever met,” says Dr. Tsai. “I quickly learned that he actually has a special connection to Ascension Saint Thomas.” Last year, Guy had a life-altering surgery to correct partial paralysis and extreme back pain caused by spinal stenosis. Guy recently addressed the surgery on Instagram, writing: “Dr. Adam Rieg, a neurosurgeon at Ascension Saint Thomas, gave me back my life. It was one year ago today. I will never forget this day.￼ Today, not only am I fully recovered, but I am healthier than I have been in many, many years!”
Saying that she and Guy are both children at heart, Dr. Tsai hopes that the resources they’ve created help parents and teachers explain concepts like social distancing and flattening the curve to the children they love. Afterall, says Dr. Tsai: “Children are our future.”
Click here to print Guy’s free coloring sheets for the children in your life.