Some TLC and a play date help a sick little boy get better.
Little Ian has a fever, a sore throat, and a cough, so he stays home sick from school. His mother and father cuddle him and give him medicine, which helps him feel better. But when his parents have to go to work, a babysitter named Emma, whom Ian has never met, comes over. She plays with him and makes him “magic pancakes” to help him feel better, which seems to do the trick. A neighbor girl named Sarah comes over to play when Ian’s mother comes home. But when Ian, totally healthy the next day, wants to play with her again, he discovers that she is now at home sick with Emma babysitting her. All of the characters appear to be white, and the plot seems rather implausible, with its introduction of a stranger to care for a feverish child (she is at least a stranger to the sick child) and that same feverish child recovering so quickly. While Oud’s calm attitude is praiseworthy, readers may be more alarmed than reassured at imagining being left at home sick with a stranger, however friendly-looking and good at making pancakes. The cartoon-style illustrations are more pleasing than the forced text, but the color seems rather off, with blond hair appearing ghostly white.
Ian isn’t well, and his book isn’t so great either. (Picture book. 2-5)