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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
Ari the Brave's Jungle Journey: Ari Overcomes His Hospital Stay is a picture book about a small boy who has to have an operation. The author, Krystal Wallick, calls her book a “tale of courage and empowerment.” She based the book on the real-life story of her son, Ari, who was admitted to a hospital for serious surgery. To help him overcome his understandable anxiety, Ari uses his imagination and the companionship of a new friend to combat dangerous animals as he goes under anesthesia. Wallick skillfully uses entertainment to educate children to the fact that they can and will overcome the experience of being hospitalized. The book also includes a helpful page on additional resources for helping children understand medical terminology. Artist Sarah Nettuno illustrated the story.
I loved this book! It does exactly what author Krystal Wallick said it would do—help small children who have to go to the hospital or have a medical procedure done. There’s a bonus at the end, too—a “hidden picture” feature. There are 19 frogs hidden in the illustrations throughout the book for children (or adults!) to find. The book includes a website with the answers. The beautiful artwork, by illustrator Sarah Nettuno, fits the text perfectly and is very entertaining. I highly recommend Ari the Brave's Jungle Journey: Ari Overcomes His Hospital Stay not just for children who have to go to a medical facility, but for everyone, kids and adults alike, who want to read the tale of a brave boy who, with his mother’s help, has shared his happy-ending story with the world.