CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 2 . . . . September 20, 2002
In Jessica's X-Ray, Pat Zonta describes what happens after Jessica falls out of a tree and breaks her arm and her parents take her to the hospital where her arm is x-rayed.
Disappointingly, this is really the only explanation of the process of having an x-ray taken. I would have been happy to see a little more description of things like positioning and why the x-ray worker might leave the room or stand behind a shield since these situations will be unfamiliar to a child.
However, the purpose of the book seems to be more to discuss and describe different types of x-rays than to reassure children who find themselves getting an x-ray, although, as seen above, there is some reassurance offered. The greater part of the book, however, is a description of different kinds of x-rays. While Jessica's cast dries, Sarah takes Jessica on a tour: CAT-scans, ultrasounds and MRIs are described, and Clive Dobson's pleasing watercolors illustrate all of these. Seeing the x-ray machines, themselves, and the light panels, the lead aprons, and other hospital equipment makes the discussion of unfamiliar terms easier for children to understand.
However, like my children, the things that I liked best about this book were the actual x-rays which are included. There are x-rays of a child's hand, a broken arm, a CAT-scan, a coin swallowed by a child, an ultrasound of an unborn baby, an MRI, and a dental x-ray. These are very "cool" and will capture any child's attention. Each has an explanation and some questions which are answered at the back of the book.
Also included at the back of the book are some questions and answers about x-rays which go into a little more detail about x-rays themselves and why people might need them. All in all, it is a very interesting book.
Lisa Hanson O'Hara is a librarian and mother of three in Winnipeg, MB.
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