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Bringing the Joy of Picture Books to Children’s Hospitals


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STORYTIME FRIENDS brings the joy and power of storytelling to children in hospitals through weekly video-recorded read-alouds, in-person author/illustrator visits, and picture book give-aways. We believe in having fun and creating a sense of friendship and community through books. We support upholding the emotional safety of patients by helping to reduce stress and lift spirits.

We have partnered with UCSF for our inaugural year and are excited to hear from hospitals interested in collaborating with STORYTIME FRIENDS in 2023-24.

If you work for a hospital and are interested in collaboration, please reach out here.


I am a Zambian-American teacher who loves books, word games, and stories. I am a public school elementary teacher and administrator-in-training. I live in Oakland, California. When not practicing “physical distancing,” you’ll probably find me working, studying, on the soccer field, or biking through the hills with friends. A couple of my favorite books are The Negotiator by Frederick Forsyth and The Bear’s Tears by Craig Thomas (I love spy/crime fiction). Favorite kids books include One Crazy Summer and the Anansi series.

Every week, I introduce our featured picture book author and do a read-aloud of their book. The video is broadcast to all children’s rooms. 


Mr. Peter Limata

Watch one of Mr. Limata's upbeat read-alouds!


STORYTIME FRIENDS proudly works with authors & illustrators who live in the same communities

as the hospitals we serve. We build on and expand strong creative connections!

Bay Area Authors & Illustrators Featured in our Inaugural Year: 

Sandhya Acharya, 10 Gulab Jamuns

Laura Atkins, Sled Dog Dachsand

Mac Barnett & Shawn Harris, A Polar Bear in the Snow

Carmen Bogan, Where’s Rodney?

Nidhi Chanani, What Will My Story Be?

Angela Dalton, Show the World 

Hayley Diep, If You Give a Girl a Bike 

Alejandra Domenzain, For All / Para Todos

Danielle Dufayet, You Are Your Strong

Michael Genhart, May Your Life Be Deliciosa

Alex Giardino, Me + Tree

Chelsea Johnson, La Toya Council, & Carolyn Choi,

Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All

Nancy Johnson & Constance Moor, Black: The Many Wonders of My World

Darshana Khiani, How to Wear a Sari

Rob Liu-Trujillo, Alejandria Fights Back

Janine MacBeth, Oh, Oh Baby Boy

Marissa McGee, Free the Curls

Bethanie Murgia, What’s Your Name?

Innosanto Nagara, Oh, the Things We’re For

Amy Novesky, Girl on a Motorcycle

Jane Park, Juna and Appa

Meenal Petal, Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala

Dr. Rachel Remen, The Birthday of the World

Melissa Reyes, I Am Sausal Creek

Nadia Salomon, Goodnight, Ganesha

Grant Snider, What Color Is the Night?

Meera Sriram, Dumpling Day 

Peter Stein, A Tree for Mr Fish

Maggie Takuda-Hall, Love in the Library

Deborah Underwood, Here Comes Valentine Cat

Muon Thi Van, I Love You Because I Love You

Justine Villanueva, Mama, Mama, Do You Know What I Like?

Natasha Yim, Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

You can donate any of these books to children at UCSF through our Wish List here.

You can also support us by buying participating authors' books here.


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In 2022-23, we've partnered with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco and Oakland. 

We look forward to developing programs with other hospitals. Please reach out here about collaboration!


STORYTIME FRIENDS is a collaborative project, co-created by four award-winning Bay Area-based picture books authors, Angela Dalton, Michael Genhart, Meera Sriram, and Alex Giardino. In addition to writing books for children, Michael is also a licensed child, adolescent, and adult clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco. 

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In 2023, we plan to raise $24,000 to pay for our first full year of programming.

These funds will cover the cost of weekly video production, in-person author visits and activities, and the purchase of 500 picture books to be given to the children. We need your support to make this project happen!


A kickstarter campaign is in the works, along with a fiscal non-profit sponsorship.

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Featured Authors

STORYTIME FRIENDS launches on November 4 with two featured authors this month!

We are proud to announce that our very first featured book is The Birthday of the World, written by Dr. Rachel Remen,

who worked at UCSF for decades

Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is Clinical Professor Emeritus of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and Professor of Family Medicine at Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine. She is the founder of RISHI (The Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness), based at Pure Health Care in Dayton, Ohio. Her course for first-year medical students, The Healer's Art, has been taught annually in most of America’s medical schools since 1985 and also at international medical schools. Her best-selling books, Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather's Blessings, have been published in 23 languages. Her nationwide training programs remind health professionals and students that the practice of medicine is essentially an act of love. She aims to enable physicians to operationalize this insight in their daily practice. 


We are also very proud to announce that our second featured book is Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala.

Meenal Patel is an artist, illustrator, children’s book author, and designer. She draws inspiration from everyday moments of childhood wonder, graphic textures in nature, and the strength of community. She hopes the experiences and joy that she infuses in her art will result in connection, belonging, and delight for someone else.

Hospital Connections


Series co-creator Meera Sriram dropped off donated books to UCSF staff. STORYTIME FRIENDS thanks Cameron Kids for their donation of Dr. Remen's book, and Beaver's Pond Press for their donation of Meenal Patel's book!


In the News...

Series co-creators Alex Giardino and Angela Dalton sat for a podcast interview with Maria Dismondy of Cardinal Rule Press. Our conversation is called "Sharing Joy in Less Traveled Places," and we share the early vision and long-term goals for STORYTIME FRIENDS. You can listen to the interview here after Nov 15.

If you are a member of the media, please contact us here for a media kit.

Our series host and series creators are available for interviews.