Simone Colwill trained as a radiation therapist at Auckland Hospital. She is married with four children. Jasmine Ting is a graphic designer and illustrator. This is her first children’s book as an illustrator.
Simone Colwill was diagnosed with Crohns’ Disease and with that came life changes – hospital admissions, medications and clinic appointments. Simone went looking for a book to help her own children understand what was happening to her. Unable to find one, she wrote Super Jonny. The inspiration for the title came one day when her youngest son was visiting her dressed in his superhero suit.
When this book arrived for me to review, I was at first apprehensive about how to go about writing it, but as a grandmother of small children I found this book totally inspirational. So far all the mothers of small children in our family are healthy, but life can change in a blink. None of us know what is around the corner.
Johnathan and his sidekick, Bear are Superheroes. Actually they’ve been Superheroes forever! Superheroes wear cool clothes and carry cool gadgets and save the world! And that’s cool! Mum is sick, so they have a new mission. Superheroes can do anything!
Johnathan decides that they can help – help the doctors by giving them his magnifying glass, helping the radiographer by giving her his night-vision binoculars, help the laboratory assistant by giving him his bug catcher and specimen jar, helping the dietician by giving her his Choccy Bugs muesli bars, helping the nurse by giving her his bug-proof plaster bandages, helping the cleaner by giving her his bug repellent. Johnathan was disappointed that he wasn’t helping his Mum get better. The outcome of this story and explanation is a charming and wonderful way to get the message to young children just how many people really do work in hospitals, helping people get well.
This is a wonderful story and one I am sure will help parents suffering from chronic health problems that require short or lengthy hospital visits. Hospitals can be scary places for kids and parents alike.
Teachers or parents will find this book invaluable when children are frightened and worried and explanations are needed at a level that they can understand.
At the back of the book there are guide notes for teachers and parents alike. There is also a very useful section of preparing for a hospital admission – putting into your bag useful items that a child when visiting you in hospital will find to amuse themselves.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling
What does Super Jonny do when mum gets sick?
Written by Simone Colwill
Illustrated by Jasmine Ting
Published by Books for Caring Kids