Children's books

5th November 2004 at 00:00
BENNY GOES ON HOLIDAY, BENNY GOES TO SCHOOL, BENNY GETS BETTER. Rosemary Batchelor and Val Meyer-Hall. Illustrated by Charlotte Meyer. Published by Codman on behalf of ASBAH pound;5.50 for all three; Tel: 01733 555988.

For a child with hydrocephalus (and his parents), Benny Gets Better offers a reassuring view of staying in hospital and having a shunt (drain) inserted in his head to make him well.

For others, it's a guide to what it means to live with this condition (more than 1,000 children each year have this operation for the first time).

The shunt transforms Benny from a poorly bear into one who can run, jump, ride his bike and tease his sister Subsequent books see Benny go to school for the first time and on holiday abroad. His surgeon even gives Mrs Bear a CD-Rom of Benny's scans in case he gets ill again and a French doctor needs to look at them.

Charlotte Meyer's charming colour illustrations have lots of detail to entertain any young child, while the simple, informative and engaging stories strike just the right note of reassurance.

Kevin Harcombe

Head, Redlands primary school, Fareham, Hampshire

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