“Nurse Florence, How Does the Brain Work?” by Michael Dow

“Nurse Florence, How Does the Brain Work?” by Michael Dow 175 262 Reader Views Kids

Nurse Florence, How Does the Brain Work?

Michael Dow
Lulu.com (2023)
ISBN: 978-1312689558
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (06/2023)

“Nurse Florence, How Does the Brain Work?” by Michael Dow is one of the most thoughtful, informative, and young-reader-focused books on science and the brain I’ve encountered. With clear, engaging language and accompanying images, this book will be on shelves for many years to come. It’s so engrossing that most adults should find it fascinating and educational- perhaps something to read together.

This accomplished author introduces the subject of the brain and explains succinctly just what the brain is and how it works. As a mother and grandmother as well as a reviewer, I appreciate that the author doesn’t talk down to an elementary-age audience. Rather, he uses words that may be a little tough to learn, but that’s what education is all about: Learning something new. This book is perfect for any child, but especially those most inquisitive and eager to learn more about science and the brain. 

This book is well-conceived, with a note to parents in the beginning, information on pronouncing certain words, like “cerebellum” and “medulla oblongata”. There is also a glossary, with words such as “limbic system” and “neuron”, and a journal for readers to answer proposed questions and to express their views and opinions. You may feel like you’re in school again, but in this case, it’s exciting, and you will learn so much from the text and images. I love how the book is dedicated to Florence Nightingale, among others, and the information is told in the form of a story, with young characters Sonia, Condi, and Jean, who are students studying different cultures around the world. Then they visit Nurse Florence in the cafeteria, where they make small talk.

Condi asks the nurse: “What is the most interesting part of the body?”

This question launches the heart of the book. Nurse Florence answers by first showing them pictures on her smartphone, then explaining what they are and how the brain works.

The dialogue that is exchanged among the characters is how the information on the brain is delivered, which is a lively alternative to a dry delivery of text and facts, (not that there is anything wrong with that, but children could lose interest–dialogue makes it much more engaging!). And the illustrations are presented in a clever way: they appear on a cellphone screen.

This book has a lot to offer, and if you like it, the author has a series of Nurse Florence books, listed at the end. Overall, “Nurse Florence, How Does the Brain Work?” by Michael Dow, is one terrific read.

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