Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? It’s a very quiet morning at the Doll Hospital at the start of a day where Dr. Pegs has a short and easy to-do list when, “Ding-A-Ling-A-Ling!” Oh no, a doll is hurt! As the day continues, Dr. Pegs gets more patients and a much longer to-do list. Feeling overwhelmed, she calls for help from the “Nesting Nurses.” Everyone works together to help the three dolls (and one teddy bear) feel good as new!
The text from George and illustrations from Gillingham compliment each other well as the simple and fluid words convey the short story and the bright, mixed media pictures engage little listeners. In particular, this selection of mixed media in the artwork is a fantastic choice as it gives readers the feeling of looking into a world that they could have created themselves with familiar elements such as felt, fabric, and Popsicle sticks.
Kids will find a great role model in the tiny Dr. Pegs as she shows great care with each patient, but also shows herself the same care when she decides to ask for help. Many stories focus on helping others without showing kids that it’s also good to know your own limits. With pressure being put on children earlier and earlier to excel in areas from school to social interaction, this presents a fantastic and timely message.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The world of the Doll Hospital is whimsical enough that many stories could take place in this one location. While the length makes this title more accessible for younger listeners, it detracts from the possibilities in exploration as we have so little time to become familiar with the characters and the setting. What else could happen at the Doll Hospital? This would be stronger as part of a series surrounding Dr. Pegs. Let’s hope George and Gillingham will have a follow-up!
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a great storytime book for a theme of kindness or community helpers. Many of the pages present a type of audience interaction that would work well for both large and small groups; “Can you help me make the bell sound here?” or “Let’s count the Nesting Nurses together!” are two great examples. The length of the book makes this more appealing for ages 2-4.
Who should buy this book? Libraries (public and school)
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? This is a title that only storytime planners will likely be interested in.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA
Date of review: July 4, 2018