By Breana Pitts

MEDFORD (CBS) – A Medford woman has written a book to help kids who are afraid of getting shots or going to the doctor’s office. The Little Ouch’s December 1st release couldn’t have come at a better time, with a COVID-19 vaccine less than a week away.

“I realized that there weren’t really any books about overcoming the specific fear of getting shots,” author Katherine Picarde told WBZ-TV.

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Two kids holding Picarde’s new book. (Photo Credit: Katherine Picarde)

Picarde has been a first grade teacher in Arlington for seven years. When she was a kid, she was fearful of needles and the doctor’s office. The book’s main character “Penelope,” is based off Picarde’s own experiences as a child. In The Little Ouch, “Penelope” is afraid and nervous to get her flu shot and pulls all sorts of silly and dramatic antics to avoid it.

“A lot of parents and kids have reached out with funny stories about how their child is referring to it as “a little ouch” when they are going to get their flu shot or going to the doctor,” Picarde said.

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Picarde wrote the story back in July of 2018, long before the pandemic. But she hopes it can give comfort to the kids currently living through it.

“My hope is that it can provide comfort and laughter to kids who are going through this pandemic who may have to get the COVID vaccine. I hope it’s therapeutic for them and I hope that Penelope can be a character they can relate to.”

Penelope, the main character in The Little Ouch, overcomes her fear of getting a shot. (Photo Credit: Katherine Picarde)

Picarde also donated copies of The Little Ouch to Boston Children’s Hospital, Newton Wellesley, Dana Farber and Franciscan Children’s. The author says she wanted Child Life Specialists and kids who are chronically ill to have a copy in their rooms for whenever they need some extra encouragement.

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A list of where you can purchase The Little Ouch can be found at

Breana Pitts