New children’s book brings smiles

There’s a problem in Miss Robinson’s classroom.

Because of all the noise and confusion in her room, she can’t teach her lessons—that is, until her old friend Oiseau (pronounced wah-zō) arrives.

Pre-Order at Barnes & Noble

Oiseau, which means “bird” in French, is a charming little avian helper in author Debbie Wosnik’s new children’s book, Oiseau. And not only does Oiseau save the day in Miss Robinson’s room, he can save the day in your life, too!

Reading the book alone “is fun,” says Wosnik, but “on the back there is a website to actually purchase your own bird on a wire. The little bird pecks down the wire and is like a timer.”

These wooden Oiseau birds are sold through a foundation near and dear to Wosnik’s heart, CCD Smiles.

CCD Smiles raises funding, supports research and spreads awareness for cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), a genetic birth defect. Open fontanelles, or soft spots, and dental and other bone abnormalities characterize the disorder.

If the condition sounds familiar, it might be because Dustin in the hit show Stranger Things has it, as does the actor who plays him, Gaten Matarazzo.

Kelly Wosnik and Gaten Matarazzo of CCD Smiles

Wosnik’s daughter Kelly, who started the foundation along with Gaten, was also born with CCD. A nurse practitioner who did her master’s thesis on CCD, Kelly wanted to do something to ease the burden on fellow patients.

“People with CCD have huge dental bills,” her mother says. “Kelly had dental surgery most spring breaks, summer vacation and Christmas breaks all growing up. Dental insurance would get maxed out even before the first surgery every year,” she remembers. The “long and costly” procedures can result in bullying, as many kids with CCD are missing teeth.

“I love that the writers wrote the condition and the bullying into the show,” says Wosnik of Stranger Things.

“Gaten flew out with his parents and they all met and organized and started helping people all across the country,” says Wosnik. “He is a great kid. We have had fun getting to know their family.”

Last summer, a CCD conference enabled many individuals of all ages with the condition to meet up and relate to one another, sharing “things no one else could understand,” says Wosnik. “It was heartwarming.”

Wosnik’s family has raised money for CCD Smiles before, but she hopes that Oiseau in particular will help to bring more to the foundation that hits so close to home. “We are hoping the sale of the birds will send a nice sum of money to them [CCD Smiles],” she says.

Oiseau, illustrated by Andi Jorgensen, releases through Pink Umbrella Books on October 8, 2019. Pre-order at Barnes & Noble or Amazon today. Go to to learn more about CCD Smiles and cleidocranial dysplasia. You can also order your own Oiseau from the CCD Smiles Shop.

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