Jake's Kindergarten Checkup by Chrystal de Freitas
Kirkus Star

Jake's Kindergarten Checkup

From the "My Sister, Me and Dr. Dee" series, volume 1
by illustrated by
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Experienced pediatrician de Freitas shows her comforting bedside manner in this very encouraging, cheerfully illustrated picture book.

Jake is ready for kindergarten except for one thing: his kindergarten checkup. His little sister, Chloe, who loves to play doctor, can’t wait for Jake to go, but he’s worried about having to get a shot. At a doctor’s office populated by a diverse array of patients and staff, Jake’s mom tries to comfort him: “It’ll be over before you know it,” she says. “Let’s wait and see what Dr. Dee says.” As the nurse takes Jake through all his measurements, Chloe can’t wait for it to be her turn. Jake’s frustrated by her distractions: “This is my appointment. Remember?!” Through the regular weight and height checks to the more specific kindergarten-readiness tests, such as the hearing test and a urine check, de Freitas describes everything approachably, allowing children to feel that maybe Jake’s worries aren’t so well-founded. When Dr. Dee, a woman pediatrician, enters, there’s even more checking to do. De Freitas introduces various medical terms—including otoscope and opthalmoscope—that will please the Doc McStuffins crowd. But soon, despite the fun of the visit, the dreaded moment arrives: it’s time for a shot. It’s not Jake who needs comforting, though—it’s Chloe, who’s suddenly in tears! Jake is so distracted by Chloe’s crying and his admirable big-brother efforts to comfort her, he hardly notices his shot at all. Lyon presents all the instruments and atmosphere of the pediatrician’s office in clear, easy to identify, soft-hued illustrations, and her cartoonlike characters have easy-to-read facial expressions. With the heavy load of text, necessary for all the information offered, it could be a case of information overload. But Freitas and Lyon sidestep potential confusion with a well-considered layout that sometimes features three or four pictures per page, showing each step of the process. De Freitas’ dialogue is spot-on, and nervous youngsters will find Dr. Dee’s interactions with Jake and Chloe reassuring.

Help kids prepare for a doctor’s visit, especially the kindergarten checkup, with helpful tips for Mom and Dad, too.

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9844529-4-1
Page count: 38pp
Publisher: Carmel Valley Pediatrics
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2016


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