A friendly, useful, and nicely illustrated guide for kids facing surgery.

SURGERY ON SUNDAY

A little girl feels nervous about undergoing minor surgery in this debut picture book.

Sunday, a small, pale-skinned girl with unkempt brown hair, is about to have surgery to fix a small tear in her eardrum. She’s worried but has ticked all the boxes on her checklist— everything from a packed bag to a “stomach in knots like a triple-tied shoelace.” At the hospital, she encounters unfamiliar procedures like wearing a plastic identity bracelet and getting an IV, but the nurse’s encouraging words help her to be brave. She also calms herself down with pleasant daydreams. After the operation, she’s tired and groggy for a while but soon feels like herself again, and hears better too. In her book, Harrison soothes fears by helping kids know what to expect before surgery. The story nicely balances Sunday’s anxiety with her humorous voice and active imagination. She’s encouraged to be brave but in a way that acknowledges her understandable nerves; adults are kind and reassuring. Also useful are a list of five rules for surgery, such as bringing a toy or other item, and several questions adults can use to help children talk through their fears. Crampton provides cheerful, appealingly detailed images in calming pastels that feature a diverse cast.

A friendly, useful, and nicely illustrated guide for kids facing surgery. (Questions to Ask Someone (or Yourself!) Before Surgery” [26])

Pub Date: March 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73470-750-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Warren Publishing, Inc.

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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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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A fresh take on an enduring theme.

MOST PERFECT YOU

When Irie tells her momma she hates her big poofy hair, her momma explains that everything about Irie was perfectly custom made.

Irie wants her hair to swing and bounce like the “pretty hair” that “everyone else” has. But Momma tells her that she didn’t make Irie to be like everyone else. “I made you to be you.” Momma explains that when she was expecting Irie, she talked to God and made special requests. Out of all the skin tones in the world, Momma chose her favorite for Irie. The same for her hair type, her sparkling eyes, her kissable nose, and her bright smile. Momma also chose a good heart for Irie, and when she was born, she was perfect, and as she grew, she was kind. When Momma tells her “you are all of my favorite things,” Irie runs to the mirror and sees herself with new eyes: a “most perfect me.” This sweet, imaginative tale highlights the importance of parental love in boosting children’s self-esteem and will be a touching read-aloud for families who have struggled with issues of fitting in. The story is a challenging one to illustrate; the full-color digital art is warm with soft shades of natural-looking color but struggles to create engaging scenes to accompany Momma’s explanation of her conversation with God. The multiple spreads showing Irie and Momma flying through the atmosphere among clouds, stars, and hearts become a bit monotonous and lack depth of expression. Characters are Black. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A fresh take on an enduring theme. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-42694-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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