Top positive review
Mother- Daughter Joint Review, Ok Book, Some Issues
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2017
Alrighty, so this is yet another book I purchased in a madcap effort to find things to help my sweet little son, who has Autism among other things, prepare for an upcoming hospital procedure.
This is a book I have some mixed feelings about. One of the most important things you need to know about this book is that it's 48 pages long. My daughter (who is 10) initially read it, and it was so long I didn't think I was going find time to make my way through it, and I absolutely new based on the amount of text on the page that I was never going to get our son to sit through this thing, so I was planning on relying on her thoughts for this review. But then our handsome little man fell asleep for his nap, and I decided not to pin all of this on my daughter and actually read the thing myself.
So first her thoughts: She said it's cute, but many parents might prefer a shorter book. Indeed, I personally would say this is more appropriate for a developmentally normal 7 year old, whereas the book is rated for ages 4-7. It's a lot of text for younger children. I asked her if she thought it was what hospitals are really like now (because the original pub date was in 1966) and she said some things, kind of. Other things, no. And I think she's got that just right.
So for me personally, I kind of liked that George ends up in the hospital because he ate something. I can totally see our little man doing that. But I didn't think it was quite as accurate when they sent him home with the puzzle piece and he got to use it in the end. You know, stomach acid is pretty corrosive. Our fluffy little catzilla, who has always been trying to get rid of his nine lives as fast as his cute furry self could, managed many years ago to go on a middle of the night eating spree that necessitated a very expensive emergency surgery to save him from his perforating bowels. They showed me the contents they pulled out in a bag, and all I can say is "ew!" Major "ew!" And totally not reusable. So that was probably supposed to be humorous, but...that's going to depend I think on the person reading it.
I think some parts of the hospital experience, like needles being there and hurting a bit, and going under during anesthesia and waking up in the recovery room, are indeed useful...if your kid has the patience to wade through the text to get there. And some things are really out of date, like the outfits, the equipment, and the record player. And that really matters, especially when it comes to the illustrations, because unless you are showing them more up to date pictures as part of this process, your children won't really be prepared for what they will actually see in a modern hospital.
And this bit is kind of a personal thing, but I personally quirked an eyebrow when I read the line, "Then the pretty young nurse..." Did we really need to go there? As a woman who used to have a professional career before I became the fabulous stay at home mom I am today, I kind of didn't appreciate the implied sexism in that line. I don't have any problem being a woman, I don't have any problem with people thinking I'm pretty. But when I'm working as a professional, you better believe that's not what I want people to notice about me first. I want them to respect and notice my skills, because at the end of the day, that's what's going to end up mattering most in their overall experience with me in the workplace.
So having actually worked in the healthcare setting, I'd say it's more of a 3 star book for preparing a child for what they'd currently experience. And it's way too long for most young children to get through in one sitting I think, but because my daughter thought it was a cute fun book, I figured probably your kiddos may enjoy it as a cute read regardless of it's usefulness in actual surgery prep.