Erlyn Rachelle Macarayan Ph.D., MS, RN is an adjunct assistant professor of health services, policy and practice at the School of Public Health. She has worked extensively in the public health and the health data science fields with many years of experience as an advisor and consultant to various international organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization.

But in her spare time, she writes children’s books. Together with her husband Dr. Glen de Vera, she explains complex ideas to kids in the simplest terms possible, relating such concepts to their daily life experience. Each book in their Simplest Terms series highlights how science is part of our everyday lives.

Erlyn Rachelle Macarayan and husband Glen de Vera wrote their new collection of Simplest Terms books with their son Ethan—and all families whose lives have been upended by the pandemic—in mind.

The couple’s first book, Dino’s First School Day, follows the main character Dino on his quest to find his way to school using the scientific method. Over this past summer they published their second book, Dino Rocks, which introduces kids to machine learning while exploring the beauty of diversity. Illustrations by Al Estrella bring the series to life by helping young readers explore the lessons of scientific discovery through Dino’s adventures.

Macarayan notes that “Through these books, families can read, sing, and play with the clay-like characters of the books in the hope that we can stir the curiosity of the children, while helping them have fun while learning.” She went on to say that “these books are especially dedicated to families whose lives may have been upended by the pandemic and who may be struggling to navigate this new world. Our hope is for this book to bring them closer as a family and for them to continue to turn the pages no matter what the future holds.”