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Monday, August 26, 2013

Nurse Clementine, written and illustrated by Simon James. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2013. $19.00 ages 4 and up

"Next, Mrs. Brown complained that she had a headache. Nurse Clementine gave her a complete checkup. Her ears were okay, her tongue wasn't spotty, and her temperature was normal. So, just to be safe, Nurse Clementine bandaged her head. "You'll have to keep this on for a week, " she said. "A week?" Mrs. Brown said with a sigh."

No one in my family ever had to worry about me choosing a medical field for my life's work! So, I didn't tie my brother up in bandages, or threaten him with needles, or splint his leg or arm. I left all that to my mom, the dedicated and efficient nurse that she was.

My mom may have wished for a daughter like Clementine! She fills her days with dress-up, and ever-growing care and compassion for the wounded in her family. As each injury is tended to, and advice given for healing time, Clementine is in her element. Once her parents are on the mend, Clementine turns to her reckless and accident-prone brother. Tommy will have none of it:

"Nurse Clementine rushed over with her stethoscope. She told Tommy to keep still while she checked him for breaks and bruises.
"I'm not broken," said Tommy.
"And I told you before,
I don't need a nurse.
Leave me alone!"

It isn't until Tommy runs into some real trouble that he allows Clementine to come to the rescue and ply her trade. Truss him up she does. Without her scissors to help with reasonable length for the bandage, Tommy learns the true meaning of tender loving care...and he's stuck for a week, just like all the others!

Charming watercolor and ink illustrations, done in a pastel palette of  blue, green, peach and tan, are placed with care on clean white backgrounds allowing readers to see a caregiver in action at all times. Laugh-out-loud funny, they will capture attention and provide inspiration for those considering a medical career in their future.

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