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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Hospitals have a purpose: to help people get better. But they can be scary places, even for grownups. A child is easily frightened by all the people, the noise, the comings and goings and, of course, all the tests that they do. If a child is very sick and requires a visit, or even a lengthy stay in a hospital, it’s good to be prepared with drinks, snacks, and lots of good story material to keep the child content, comfortable, and entertained.
Jack was surprised to discover that he had to go to the hospital. It all started while walking to school, when his knees suddenly hurt so badly that he couldn’t walk. The next day, Jack’s knees were swollen. His parents took him to the hospital and the doctors and nurses did all kinds of tests, including an x-ray, which Jack was allowed to see. Everything and everyone at the hospital were super-nice, helping Jack relax during his ordeal. The story never explains what the diagnosis was, but we do learn that Jack’s hospital visit wasn’t quite as frightening as he thought it would be.
Based on a true story, John Priest’s picture book story, Jack Goes to Hospital, is a compassionate look at one child’s hospital visit. Using colorful illustrations and simple, but effective language, the author helps the young reader learn about hospitals in general and why they do certain tests. It is also a reassuring story, as the author clearly points out that hospitals are there to help people, not to frighten them. Jack’s visit to the hospital ended up being less frightening than anticipated, and it actually turned into a little bit of an adventure and a learning experience. This is an excellent book to help young children who need to visit hospitals on occasion or for longer periods of time.