Thursday, November 6, 2014

Florence Nightingale by Demi

Florence Nightingale 
by Demi 
Published: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sold by: Macmillan 

Pages: 40 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: P - 3
Source: library

Summary from Macmillan:
Florence Nightingale revolutionized the world of medicine by emphasizing cleanliness, food that was hot and nutritious, and organization in hospitals. What began as an attempt to make army hospitals safer and more effective became a lifelong mission, and remains relevant today.
This new picture book biography of Florence Nightingale, from celebrated author and artist Demi, beautifully portrays the story of Florence's life and explores the long-lasting effects of her career. 
This is an absolutely beautiful book. The style reminds me of enamel work. I don't know how I missed Demi before, but I will be seeking out more of her work to share with my kids.

Plus, for so many people Florence Nightingale has become more of an idea than a person. And most kids don't know about her at all. This book presents her story in clear prose with lovely, detailed illustrations that show the contrast between the privileged world Nightingale gave up and the world of the poor and forgotten that she chose to serve.  The illustrations do gently suggest the full horror of what the field hospitals and workhouses would have been like. This allows you to see both the challenges Nightingale faced and provide a stark before and after contrast, showing what she accomplished. It is impressive work.

The story is a summary of Nightingale's entire life, so it might be lacking some of the in-depth information older children might want, but this does make it very approachable for younger children. I especially like the fact that the story tells you about some of the concepts - like collecting detailed information about how places functioned and striving for efficiency - that Nightingale based her work around. If you have a child enamored of Doc McStuffins, this book would give them a real life example to aspire too. Thumbs up.

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful pictures! I had a book about Florence Nightingale of which I was very fond as a child, but the illustrations were dull. These are just gorgeous.


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