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Michael Dow
Nurse Florence®, What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Michael Dow, author
Jean, Condi, and Sonia meet Nurse Florence in the cafeteria during lunch. They were just talking about how disruptive climate change could be to the world. They ask her to discuss a disease that could affect the whole body. Nurse Florence teaches them about Type 2 Diabetes. She discusses the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, how to get diagnosed, treatment options and prevention strategies.
Kind, knowledgeable Nurse Florence returns in Dow’s latest installment of his educational picture book series for children, with another standalone entry devoted to explaining a serious health topic. This time, Florence is teaching preteen friends Jean, Condi, and Sonia about type 2 diabetes. The girls’ curiosity is piqued after learning about climate change in class and how rising temperatures can impact everything on Earth. When they spot their friendly school nurse at lunch, Florence suggests they chat about diabetes, a disease that can have a global impact on the body. Soon she launches into a scientific description of this preventable disease and its impacts before moving on to the symptoms, complications, and causes, such as drinking too much sugar from soda and juices.

As usual, this informative introduction to one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in America doesn’t shy away from what some may consider overly complex medical terminology. Dow places trust in his young readers and their ability to absorb high-level information, or to ask questions when they don’t understand something, as definitions of key terms are provided in the glossary. Florence also discusses specific risk factors and how to prevent type 2 diabetes, which will give kids and adults the chance to talk about what a healthy lifestyle looks like.

Kaney’s illustrations show the three friends and Nurse Florence sitting at their lunch table, with occasional close-ups of their animated faces as they talk. This time Florence is depicted as a young white woman with brown hair and anime-style eyes that make her seem affable and approachable. The pictures are somewhat basic and lacking in detail, but they offer helpful context for specific aspects of this discussion, such as pill bottles, glucose monitors, and pictures of the human body. Overall this story offers an insightful look at a common disease that many people will find relevant to their own lives.

Takeaway: A friendly school nurse teaches three young friends about type 2 diabetes.

Comparable Titles: Missy Mareau Garcia’s the Ups and Downs of Audrey Mae, Michael Lawson’s Open Up Your Bag.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: B
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-