A little boy makes his first visit to a hospital, a fascinating world all its own.
Accompanied by his Kurdish nanny, Gulsa (her name means “happy rose”), Henry carries a bouquet of flowers. Gulsa is talking on her new phone, so when they reach the door of the hospital, the young white boy decides to go on ahead inside to find his grandmother. It’s busy and noisy, like an airport, with people of all ethnicities all around. When Gulsa doesn’t come, he begins exploring on his own: the halls, the elevators, even the rooms of other patients. An elderly black woman in an elevator scolds Henry, calling him George. A nurse arrives to take the confused woman back to her room. Henry’s surprised to find a white classmate named Sydney, who’s there because she got a bean up her nose. Henry’s too concerned about Grandma to laugh. Finally, a helpful security guard named Harvey-James escorts him to his grandmother’s room, and who should be there but Gulsa? The pictures tell the story in this beautifully, distinctively designed book. Double-page spreads are dominated by straight industrial lines, with figures outlined in black that add dimension, tinted pages, and text boxed against a white background. The text is overlong and peppered with jokes only adults will understand, and it’s a shame that the story kicks off due to hijab-wearing Gulsa’s irresponsibility.
Artistically educational. (Picture book. 5-8)