- Books, Literature, and Writing
Curious George Goes to the Hospital-Best Medical Childhood Classic
On a thrift store jaunt I was thrilled to discover a childhood favorite, Curious George Goes to the Hospital. No stranger to hospitals myself I had just been discussing how I loved this adventure. We immediately bought the book and attempted to read it to my exuberant niece. While she tottered around screeching (she's only just discovered the joys of walking) my dad read the curious tale out loud.
Curious George was a childhood staple back in my day. The stories revolve around a very curious monkey named George and his keeper/friend, The Man in the Yellow Hat. I was never the hugest fan of the series but having experienced hospitals firsthand fell for Curious George's hospital adventures.
The book begins with a very curious George discovering a box of what he assumes is candy on the desk of The Man With the Yellow Hat. Like most youngsters,he tests the idea by eating a piece. Poor George had no idea it was a gift,a jigsaw puzzle which once assembled reveals a missing piece. The piece which ends up making George sick and so begins his time at the hospital.
I pointed out to my father how George could actually be on 'Monsters Inside Me' today. There is an episode where a kid swallows a button battery so a puzzle piece could actually fit the criteria. Back to the story, there are parts which make me yell, NOT TRUE. Like when George has to drink barium for an x-ray. Contrary to the story it does NOT taste sweet. From personal experience it takes horrible and if your technician is like mine was you will have taken it directly after lunch (bad idea) as you lose your lunch post-picture.
George does not have that problem but his x-ray does show a very suspicious looking item, the missing puzzle piece. How it was not broken down by stomach acid will always be a mystery. Since the piece will not disappear on its own George will need surgery. The pretty nice nurse (also not always the case) settles him in a ward where children are receiving anything from blood transfusions to, I kid you not, sitting in a cart. By him is a very sad looking girl named Betsy. No one ever goes into detail about what she has but the point is: it makes her sad.
Luckily for George his surgery goes well. They even manage to save the puzzle piece (again the details on that are a bit fuzzy). He gets to eat ice cream and in my words: has an excellent prognosis. Of course George is very curious so he starts entertaining the children on the ward. He even manages to make Betsy smile a bit.
Meanwhile, the hospital is preparing for a visit from the mayor. This also happens to be when George discovers the wonders of the kid with the busted leg go kart. Combine the two and something serious is sure to happen. Yet the final result will leave you smiling just like a certain previously sad someone. My favorite part comes at the very very end. You will have to read the book to know just what I mean.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Read it, share it with someone special, or just laugh at the medical fun back in the day. Most of all this is one book which every child should get the chance to experience. The book is not long nor is it hard to read. Actually, it may just be right for a child learning to read something a bit more challenging than 'See Spot Run.'
On a final note, if you know a little one in the hospital or having to undergo a visit then this truly is a classic. Reading it puts a positive spin on things. True. The accuracy is obviously not Grey's Anatomy but it is a wonderful way to break up the hospital nerves with a side of humor.
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My mother used to sit us down every night to read with us before bed. Because of her dedication I grew up learning to love reading. I still do. Nowadays I do my reading almost exclusively via e-reader but here are a few childhood favorites which must be enjoyed in all their paper glory. If I ever am lucky enough to have children these will definitely be on the reading list.
One of those childhood classics. Written in 1950, it has been enjoyed by kids everywhere for over 60 years and has many more to come!
I loved this book. I still do and am not ashamed to admit I do reread it every now and then. More for those of mid-grade school range, it is a classic tale with humor, adventure, and the awesomeness of Pippi!
'And the smallest one was Madeline.' Another classic written before many of us were born and still as enchanting as the day it came out. There is a movie but I have not seen it and never will. Why change the beauty of a good book experience?