Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Small Readers: Fish are not afraid of doctors by J. E. Morris

This is an interesting idea; easy readers that combine both story and a social-emotional lesson. In this story, Maud the koala is waiting to see Dr. Susan. She’s anxious and, looking at the fish in the aquarium, wishes she was a fish who didn’t have to visit the doctor. She tries to hide, but the moment arrives… Dr. Susan checks her out, and Maud is having fun, until it’s time for her vaccination. A shot! After some gentle discussion, Maud imagines herself as a fish, swimming in the ocean, blowing bubbles, and before she knows it the shot is over!

A final note to caregivers explains how to use visualization and blowing bubbles, real or imaginary, to help children deal with anxiety and pain when visiting the doctor.

The book is arranged in comic panels with a clear progression of events and the occasional speech bubbles. Most of the text is enclosed in small white boxes at the top of the panels. The illustrations are bright and cheerful and Maude’s face is expressive while the doctor is friendly and sympathetic. The text is a little advanced for a beginning reader, but would be readable with a fluent reader to help out.

Verdict: This is well-written enough to double as a story as well as a therapy tool. Recommended for general purchase and use as well as recommending to caregivers to handle fears at doctor visits.

ISBN: 9781524784430; Published April 2018 by Penguin Workshop; Review copy provided by the publisher; Donated to the library

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