This entry in the CitizenKid series successfully conveys to readers both the importance of health care/disease prevention and the limited availability of these in the third world.
The fortunate good health of Mimi’s family is threatened after a forbidden sip of stream water sickens her little sister. An hour-long walk to the clinic in the next village brings improved health to Nakkissi, vaccinations to all three children and a dream to Mimi of building a clinic in their own village. Determination and cooperation pay off three months later when Nurse Tela makes the first of her bi-weekly visits to dispense health care and instruction in hygiene, nutrition and the use of bed nets to prevent malaria. Backmatter introduces readers to a real "Nurse Tela" working in Zambia, details why basic health care is so important, and gives readers ideas on how they can make a difference. Fernandes’ folk-art–style acrylic artwork is rich in patterns and beautifully portrays both village life and the Kenyan landscape. She skillfully uses the juxtaposition of foreground and background to match the illustrations with the extensive text, as when a leopard and hyena menacingly wait outside the hut where the family gathers around the ill child.
Readers will take much away from this, including an appreciation for their health-care resources and a desire to make a difference in the world. (map, glossary) (Picture book. 6-10)