A wonderful resource to help prepare children for medical intervention after an injury.

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MARIA'S MARVELOUS BONES

After an accident, a girl finds support, comfort, and care from kind medical staff in Kollias’ debut picture book. 

Maria and her brother are jumping on the couch when she falls and breaks her arm. At the hospital, she encounters caring doctors and nurses who provide her with explanations to help her feel safe. For example, a nurse uses a blood pressure cuff to see “how well Maria’s HEART was working to pump blood around her body.” Maria also receives an IV and x-rays, and she receives medicine that puts her to sleep so that a doctor can make her arm straight. The author, an orthopedic surgeon, depicts medical processes using child-friendly language (“an x-ray is a picture of bones…taken with a special camera that can see through skin”). Overall, the story takes readers on a realistic journey, which concludes when Maria gets her cast removed. It also introduces educational elements, including anatomical terms: “Dr. Anna said Maria’s body was making ‘CALLUS’…a big ball of bone glue. The glue had calcium in it, to make…broken bones heal.” Guile’s (Bear Picks a Pumpkin, 2018, etc.) top-notch illustrations are charming and colorful, with diverse characters. They emphasize friendly faces, which will be particularly encouraging to young patients in similar circumstances.

A wonderful resource to help prepare children for medical intervention after an injury.

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-228-80221-1

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Tellwell Talent

Review Posted Online: Sept. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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