Nurse Florence, How Do We Feel Pain?
Michael Dow (author) Alessa Baker (illustrator)
Dow Creative Enterprises (2022)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views Kids (09/2022)
“Nurse Florence, How Do We Feel Pain?” is part of the Nurse Florence Children’s Book Series by Michael Dow. With over 20 books in the collection, Michael Dow has created an exemplary resource of health, wellness, and science for kids.
In this story, elementary school student Sonia is enjoying the beautiful day on the playground playing tag with her friends. When Sonia tries to grab the rail on the playhouse for balance, she gets a splinter in her hand and must go see the school nurse to get the splinter removed. Nurse Florence is kind, attentive and caring, explaining to Sonia the medical terms, procedure, and treatment as they go along. This sparks Sonia’s curiosity about how we feel pain. Sonia can’t wait to tell her friends everything she learned from just one tiny splinter!
“Nurse Florence, How Do We Feel Pain?” is a thorough, well-written book for children about how the brain works to send signals to let us know when we are hurting and to stop doing the thing that is causing the pain. Nurse Florence is a relatable character with whom young people will feel at ease. I appreciate how she explains everything to Sonia without talking down to her or being preachy. Communicating with kids in this manner is essential to their learning and development, and Michael Dow is spot-on with his delivery. In his Note to Parents, Dow explains that while some of the words and concepts in the book may seem advanced for elementary school students, introducing them early will increase their health literacy level and prepare them for the future, particularly those students interested in pursuing careers in the STEM fields.
Illustrator Alessa Baker does a marvelous job portraying the settings and characters. Her delightful, colorful illustrations add to the authenticity of the story, such as the vivid imagery surrounding Sonia and her splinter. It looks like it hurts! Nicely done.
I love the connection to Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursing and pioneer in the 1800s. The series is a wonderful tribute to Nightingale’s contributions. The book doesn’t get into Nightingale’s historical role, but there is a dedication page with a few facts to enlighten young readers.
I recommend this book, and the series, to anyone interested in the human body and science. Though the books specifically target young age groups, readers and learners of all ages will enjoy this series. Well done.