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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

A Trip to the Hospital Book Review

Going to hospital can be a scary time for a child, well it can be scary for adults too, but it's particularly unnerving for little people. Being in a strange place with strange noises and getting poked and prodded by strange people can evoke a lot of fear. The prospect is even more daunting in the current world climate where a stay at hospital can mean only mum, but not dad {or vice versa} can come, no visitors and everyone wearing masks. 

So how do we help our kids prepare for a hospital visit or appointment during a pandemic? 

I've long been a huge fan of using books to help children through big emotions and to explain big concepts and a hospital visit is both an abstract concept to kids who've never had to go before and an experience that involves lots of emotions, so books can be an extremely helpful way to prepare before visiting, or to debrief after an emergency visit. 

There are many children's books about hospital visits, however A Trip to the Hospital is the first picture book I've come across written in the current global pandemic that covers the entire experience kids will face in the current climate. It covers all of the extra measures currently in place including check in questions, the importance of clean hands and temperature checks before entering the building.

a trip to the hospital book cover


A Trip to the Hospital follows the hospital visits of 3 different children - Rani, Henry and Momo. It covers all different visit scenarios including a planned appointment, an accident that requires an operation and a medical emergency {including an ambulance ride}.

Momo, Rani and Henry are going to hospital. But don't be worried. Hospitals are amazing places filled with clever people all doing incredible things, including making kids feel better!

Written for 3-9yr old's, the book uses factual information {written in age appropriate ways} alongside bright, cheery illustrations that humanise the people and procedures children are likely to face when in hospital. The book covers all different hospital staff including triage nurses, doctors, an anaesthetist, physiotherapist, surgeon, clown doctors and many more. A Trip to the Hospital not only helps alleviate the fears of young children, but also gives thanks to the many superheroes who help make children feel safe during their visit.

last page of a trip to the hospital book

A Trip to the Hospital is written by Australian author and illustrator Freda Chiu, in fact it's her debut picture book. Based in Sydney Freda is a freelance based illustrator who has illustrated children's books, editorial illustrations, festival and retail graphics. Freda also lectures and tutors at the School of Design, University of Technology, Sydney.

author freda chiu holding her new book a trip to the hospital
Image: Freda Chiu

Having spent a lot of time in hospital for asthma as a child, I relate to Momo's experience as it's exactly what I experienced many times when I was young. Thankfully my own children don't have asthma, however we have spent our fair share of time at hospital, including an operation for my big girl when she was quite young. 

I immediately related to A Trip to the Hospital and my 8yr old was immediately drawn to it as well. The delightful illustrations and gentle explanations work together to represent hospitals as a non threatening place for children. The book alone may not entirely remove your child's apprehension, however it's definitely a great starting point for open dialogue with children about their fears and gives relatable characters and situations that can be used to help calm nerves.

A Trip to the Hospital will be released August 31st, 2021. It can be pre-ordered online now from Amazon AUQBD Books and other leading book stores.

Disclosure - I received a complimentary copy of A Trip to the Hospital from Allen & Unwin with no obligation to review. All opinions expressed are based on our experience with the book. This post does contain some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may earn a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase.

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