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Kid’s Medical Book Review: My Friend the Doctor by Joanna Cole

Reading level: Baby-Preschool Hardcover: 32 pages Publisher: HarperFestival (July 26, 2005)

My Friend the Doctor by Joanna Cole is a very cute book about a young girl named Hannah who goes to the pediatrician to get a checkup. The text is sweet and even funny at times–my favorite line is when the doctor is about to do an abdominal exam and asks Hannah, “Did you bring your belly button today?” Very cute! The illustrations are friendly and accurate. While Hannah is getting her shots, her mother distracts her by showing her a poster on the wall and Hannah looks interested.

At the end of the book there are some helpful suggestions for parents about how to prepare a child for a checkup. One excellent suggestion: “Tell your child about he upcoming visit the day before, or even the day of, the visit. Too long a lead time may increase anxiety.”

Who should buy this book: Parents with small children who are anxious about visiting the doctor for their routine check up and vaccinations.

This book is not for: Children with medical problems that will require a more invasive doctor’s visit (blood tests, x-rays, etc.) as it does not describe anything outside the scope of an average checkup.

Sidenote: Like in many other books, the doctor in this one is a man. I’d like to see more picture books that show female pediatricians. Based on what I’ve seen in med school and residency, I think the time is coming soon when the majority of pediatricians will actually be female.

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