By Stacey Laura Lloyd
Strategic Media Group, $6.95, 96 pages

A hospital can be a very scary place for children. Yet with the right preparation, they can feel more confident and optimistic. Stacey Laura Lloyd’s book Hospital Critterz: The Prairie Pet  is the first book in a new series of hospital-based adventures that will help children cope with a potentially scary stay in a medical facility. Eight year old Lily is one of the patients at the McPopper Children’s Hospital. One day she gets a new neighbor named Max who is scared, quiet, and shy. Lily’s nurse gives her a magical set of markers to draw some welcome pictures for Max. That is when things get crazy. Lily creates the Hospital Critterz, twelve animals that come alive during a strange storm. Lily and Max are whisked back in time to the 1800s in the middle of the Nebraskan prairie where they must use their problem solving skills to help save a huge buffalo named Tiny from being sold to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The book’s illustrations are fantastical and fun. Beginning chapter book readers will be drawn to the author’s creative use of description and details. Hospitalized children will identify with Max and Lily and the experiences and emotions they share.

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin