Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? Especially for kids!

Now, a new hand-drawn picture book speaks to newly diagnosed children with diabetes. Even more awesome is that it's the brainchild of our friend and much-loved fellow D-peep, Mr. Mike Lawson.

You may recognize Mike's name as an incredible diabetes advocate, based for the past few years in the San Francisco, CA area. He's known for being a really good guy with amazing artistic talent. Over the years, his graphic designs have included the logo for the annual Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign, and his artork was a core part of TuDiabetes and the now-defunct Diabetes Hands Foundation, where he served as senior programming and marketing director. We've known this longtime type 1 for many years, and are proud that among his many creative endeavors over the years he was one of our regular cartoonists here at the 'Mine.

Knowing Mike so well, we're thrilled to see him release his first book, "Open Up Your Bag: A Diabetes Picture Book." This 34-pager is light on words (yes, it does have them) but is huge on drawings. It's aimed at teaching kids with diabetes to the very basic ropes of D-management. Mike says this is the first of a series that will be housed at the online hub of his new Diabetes Doodles platform.

Read on to learn more about Mike's inspiration for all of this, and why it means so much to him. Be sure to read all the way through for a book giveaway, too...


The New Picture Book and 'Diabetes Doodles'

We're in love with what Mike's created, with this simple and fun little children's books with great hand-drawn illustrations.

The repetitive phrases and sounds in his book are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, but are accompanied by drawings of animal characters doing normal diabetes management tasks like using a glucose meter, dosing insulin via a pump or pen, and eating glucose when Low -- all bookended by opening up and closing the diabetes bag where the supplies are kept.

"Open Up your bag, ZIP ZIP ZIP. Grab your meter, CHECK CHECK CHECK. Eat your glucose, CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. Enter numbers in, BEEP BEEP BEEP."

Yep, simple and fun in a way young kids will certainly relate to. We can even imagine readers doing a little sing-a-long while handling their tasks after reading this picture book.

Mike says, “We learn a lot about life through picture books. But there are not many books for young children that show some of the activities that people with diabetes have to do very regularly. This book changes that."

His new website not only includes this book, but also lots of free downloadable activity and coloring sheets for children to learn more about diabetes management tasks. Any future books in the new series will reside on the site too, he explains.


Inspired By a Love for Reading

Mike shares that he's always LOVED books and reading. 

"As a kid, we spent a lot of time at the public library... it was a form of free entertainment for a family that wasn't very wealthy," he tells us. "Picture books have always been a fun escape for me. As a little boy, I used to check out "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff and trace the pictures. Even as a teenager, I would still check out a children's picture book and I would trace and draw the pictures included."

Mike says he's wanted to draw a book for children with diabetes for years, and with many ideas swirling around in his head, he finally settled on this particular one to start with.

"I understand that picture books help teach simple concepts to developing brains," he says, adding that the classic children's cookie-for-a-mouse book taught him lessons of cause and effect. "I hope that 'Open Up Your Bag' will help young people with diabetes develop and normalize their daily management routines."

While his day job is now outside of the diabetes space, working for a Bay Area theater production company and doing freelance graphic design on the side, Mike remains active in the Diabetes Community and has recently taken on the role of trustee with the T1international organization focused on global access and affordability (which created the grassroots #insulin4all movement).

It's great to see Mike remaining a part of the D-Community in these ways, and we're childishly thrilled to get our hands on this fun kids book all about living with T1D.

You can find this paperback "Open Up Your Bag: A Diabetes Picture Book" online at Amazon for $9.75, and also via his Diabetes Doodles site. But before you click to purchase a copy for yourself, please check out our special giveaway below...

This giveaway is now closed. Winners will be announced soon.


A DMBooks Giveaway

Interested in winning your own free copy of Mike Lawson's new children's picture book? Well, here's your chance: we're thrilled to give away three free paperback copies! Along with that, to honor Mike's role with T1International and #insulin4all advocacy, DiabetesMine will make a donation in each winner's name.

Here's how to enter:

1. Email us at with "DM-PictureBook" somewhere in the subject line to let us know you're hoping to win. Alternatively, you can leave a comment on Twitter or our Facebook with the same codeword included. For shipping purposes, we must limit the giveaway to those with mailing addresses within the United States.

2. You have until Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, at 9pm PST to enter.

3. The winners will be chosen using

4. We'll announce the winners on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you're following us!And please be sure to keep tabs on your email and/or Facebook/Twitter messenger box, as that's how we contact our winners. (If they don't respond within a week, we select alternates.)

We'll update this post to let you all know who the lucky winners are.

Best of luck, All!


This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the three winners, selected by -- Brigid O'Donnell, D-Mom Kristina Dooley, and D-Mom Amie Lynn Green.