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Book Hospital

Book Hospital

Published: 24 Jun 2021

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 3+ and 5+

By Leigh Hodgkinson

Published by Simon & Schuster Ltd

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A funny, charming story about the magic of books from the co-creator of the hit Cbeebies series, Olobob Top. Have you ever wondered what it's like to BE a book? The BEST bits are getting to hang out with your friends and tell amazing stories, but sometimes a good book can end up in the wrong place at the wrong time... And then they might get scribbled on, nibbled on or even lose their last and most important page...

And when that happens, it's time to go to... Book Hospital! This funny, reassuring story is a celebration of books and the magic of reading. Because when you love your books, when you're kind to your books and when you read your books, they will take you on a magical journey that you'll never forget...

Other books by Leigh Hodgkinson: Pencil Dog, Goldilocks and Just the One Bear, Troll Swap, Goldilocks and the Three Potties,  Colin and the Snoozebox,  Limelight Larry.

Tagged books about books and starting school

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Reviewed by Kelly Ashley

‘When your books need care and repair, they go to… Book Hospital.’

Book Hospital by Rhodesia-born Leigh Hodgkinson is the first-person tale of a book’s journey from new to well-loved.  With a humorous, playful and engaging style, this book tells of accidental (and sometimes intentional!) incidents of book damage – from scribbling, to reading with sticky fingers to chewing the corners, to ripped out pages – and of the different ways in which we can care for and repair books.

Lovers of the children’s television programmes Charlie and Lola and the CBeebies series Olobob Top will recognise Hodgkinson’s unique animation style. Each page draws the reader in visually, providing the perfect opportunity to open up discussions about the links (and the gaps) between the words and pictures and how these bring deeper meaning to the tale.

One way to open up discussions about this book is to invite readers to make connections with books around shared themes offered by the author – ‘stories about bad witches,’ ‘stories with hairy scary monsters’ and ‘stories about teeny weeny adventures.’  Which books would your learners connect with around these themes? Create a mind map or book web to map out wider connections.

Another way into reading is to talk about the different ways that we can care for books both at home and school.  What do the doctors and nurses at the ‘book hospital’ do to repair the books when they come in for care? What can we do to make sure that we care for our own books?  ‘Love your books.  Be kind to your books. Read your books.’  These are the final words of wisdom from our author and provide a fantastic springboard for coming up with a shared, class or home charter for book care.

Book Hospital is the perfect choice to share at the start of the school year as children are introduced to their new classroom environment or as a reminder of our duty of care as readers to ensure we are looking after our precious tomes.

With over 20 years of education experience in both the US and the UK, Kelly Ashley currently works as an independent consultant, providing training and support for primary schools across the UK. Kelly's particular interest in language acquisition and vocabulary development has led to the publication of her first book, Word Power: Amplifiying vocabulary instruction (2019) - full of ideas for building a language-rich environment and top tips to Power-Up explicit vocabulary instruction.