Tommy Learns It's Not So Scary
by Patricia A. Hughes
Illustrations by Ivy Marie Apa
Trafford Publishing

"We will find a way to get you fixed, it might take a little longer so don't you worry just yet."

Tommy is a small turtle. He and his friends, who are other little animals and insects, are playing outside when he gets something stuck in his neck. It's a piece of straw and it hurts. The more he and his friends try to remove this splinter-like piece, the more uncomfortable things get. His neck gets swollen and he starts to cry. Finally the animals and insects work together. A mosquito injects Tommy with a special juice from leaves to help him go to sleep, while the other animals take out the splinter and stitch up the cut. He wakes up, his neck heals, and even though he was scared, he knows he is going to be okay.

This book was written for children who are facing serious illness or hospitalization. It uses the story of Tommy and the different ways his friends try to help him to explain to children that sometimes more than one medical test, x-ray, or surgery is needed to make them feel better. The text and illustrations alternate every other page. The drawings not only show the progression of the story, but always have a little upside down bee listing two or three items and asking children if they can find these on the page. The types of things to find include a birthday cake, baseball bat, grapes, and many other things familiar to children.

While the text portrays Tommy's immediate fears and reactions, some of it may be inappropriate for younger children. "What?" Tommy exclaimed, "You cannot just cut my neck off!" Then Tommy started crying so hard that no one could even be sure what he was saying... The author reassures children at the end of the story: "Everyone gets scared sometimes!"

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