Nurse Florence, How Do We Keep Our Balance?
Michael Dow (Author) & Anshu Gupta (Illustrator)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (1/2023)
“Nurse Florence, How Do We Keep Our Balance?” is just one of many Nurse Florence books in the series. Educating young readers in a variety of topics, author Michael Dow takes complex topics and makes them accessible and understandable for the masses.
Dow has crafted a wonderfully educational series following Nurse Florence, as she uses everyday occurrences as a learning opportunity. Breaking down complex topics, Dow’s book engages and excites young readers towards the field of nursing. As he explains, this series came about through a physical education teacher’s hunger to understand deeper and answer her students’ questions more thoughtfully. Now, through these books, he is able to use the page to reach even further.
Aptly named and dedicated to Florence Nightingale, who is dubbed the pioneer of nursing, Nurse Florence happens to be the school nurse within. “Nurse Florence, How Do We Keep Our Balance?” The story kicks off with Condi as she is outside at recess playing with her friends when she loses her balance and falls off the balance beam scrapping her arm. She is taken to Nurse Florence to get bandaged up and through their conversation, Condi asks what caused her to lose balance. Using her tablet, Nurse Florence describes the part of the brain responsible for balance, how it learns and adapts with practice, even going so far as to explain how smoking and alcohol can impair the balancing functions of the brain and how a healthy diet can improve and strengthen the brain’s function. Concluding with a thorough education, Condi ends by running back outside to play with friends.
“Nurse Florence, How Do We Keep Our Balance?” is a short, illustrated read with a fun but informative storyline. With illustrations drawn by Anshu Gupta, the drawings within are colorful and easily relatable for young readers. Keeping the brain and explanations simple through pictures on a tablet, Gupta engages the younger crowd from recess, to injury, to Nurse Florence’s office and back again. Supported by the illustrations, however, are Dow’s storyline and easily understandable explanation of how the brain affects balance. Using his background in psychology, biology and nursing, Dow is well rounded, well-educated and certainly up to the task for informing readers young and old on the role the brain has in balance.