THE Scientific Session of the Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics was addressed on May 25 (after dinner) by Charles M. Schulz, creator of the comic strip called Peanuts. Mr. Schulz, whose small characters have become in a sense the neighborhood children of people everywhere, resides in Northern California and is thus the actual neighbor or fellow-townsman of several fortunate and alert members of the group to whom he spoke. Dr. Charles Peck, in an appreciative and neighborly introduction, expressed local pediatric concern over the growth and development of Charlie Brown, a central member of the Peanuts group. Alarmed by their observations of head circumference and cervical anatomy (or its lack), and wishing to caution Mr. Schulz against an unsuspected hydrocephalus or an undiagnosed Klippel-Feil deformity, our Northern California brethren had gone to the trouble of having Charlie Brown drawn with 50 percentile head circumference, and at least some neck, for Mr. Schulz's guidance. A photograph of this drawing, in its unique frame, is reproduced here (Fig. 1) through the kindness of all concerned.
This commendable evidence of diligence in the practice of child health at the local level is but one reason for comments. For in the long run, the originator of these children may tell us more than we can tell him. Has not he, through Charlie Brown, already reported an interesting case in the literature? And may he not enliven and enlighten those pages as well as the newspapers? Many of those who watched and listened with delight while Mr. Schulz drew and described these children that evening must have felt, with Emily Dickinson, that "Much madness is divinest sense." The madness of Charlie Brown and the wisdom of Mr. Schulz are like that. We can learn from them.
- Copyright © 1963 by the American Academy of Pediatrics