________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 21. . . .June 13, 2008

cover

Iris Has a Virus.

Arlene Alda. Illustrated by Lisa Desimini.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2008.
24 pp., hardcover, $20.99.
ISBN 978-0-88776-844-6.

Subject Heading:
Viruses-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Linda Ludke.

***½ /4

Reviewed from f&g's.

   

excerpt:

At home, Iris washed her hands, but something was not quite right. Iris felt tired. Very tired.

In bed -
  She tried to read her storybook,
  but fell asleep before a look

  at even the first page.

 

Most of Iris's classmates are absent from school due to an outbreak of stomach flu. Mrs. Morgan advises her students to "Wash your hands well, especially when you get home from school." Despite every precaution, Iris falls ill. Her twin brother Doug, thinking about weekend plans, insensitively grumbles that "It's just not fair that you get sick when we're supposed to have fun." Completely bedridden, Iris is too tired to read, watch TV or draw in her new sketchbook. When she is no better the next day, her mother makes a doctor's appointment. After a thorough examination, Dr. Sally delivers the diagnosis: "I think you're OK, except for a virus. A nasty bug that's on its way out."

internal art     The image of having a bug inside of her lingers in Iris's imagination. At night, she dreams of "Bugs with spots, Bugs on cots, Bugs like ants, Bugs with pants." On Saturday morning, she wakes up feeling much better and wonders where her bug went. She didn't have to look far. In the car to Grandpa's party, her brother suffers from a familiar affliction: "Doug's head was hot. He threw up a lot."

      Lisa Desimini's innovative illustrations are a colourful collage of cut paper and fabric. Different textures provide visual interest. Children will relate to the pictures of Iris's looking listless and wan tucked into bed with a thermometer in her mouth and seeming apprehensive in the doctor's waiting room.

      Arlene Alda's text realistically captures a child's misunderstanding about germs. The zippy rhyming couplets add to the read aloud appeal of Iris's plight. This book is a fun tonic to use when flu season hits your classroom or library storytime.

Highly Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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