This large format, shiny covered activity book helps children structure role play round setting up a vet’s clinic. A strong point is that it would
have appeal for both girls and boys as most young children are interested in animals. There are four chapters: ‘Open your Vet Practice!’, ‘Welcome to the Waiting Room!’, ‘Right – this way to the Exam Room! and ‘Rest up in the Recovery Room’. The written text has an American flavour but this could be a discussion point and the conversational tone connects warmly with the young reader or listener. The clear, numbered lists of instructions which run through the book are a good introduction to procedural kinds of reading and writing. Correct
terminology is introduced and clear guidance is given about how to make pretend medical equipment – for example a stethoscope, thermometer, ophthalmoscope and syringe. The ‘Make it yourself’ section has some ambitious projects – making cardboard cages, lampshade collars and even an animal wheelchair. Children would need considerable adult help in carrying out the projects in this section and indeed for the activities throughout the book.
A lot of useful and interesting information is included; the pages on ‘diagnosing the problem’ suggest what should be done for ‘scratching
and itching’, ‘ear infections’ and ‘splinter or thorn in paw’. Annotated photographs show the procedures a pet having a check-up would go
through: being weighed, having heartbeat checked, and having mouth, nose, paws and fur examined. The many photographs of children giving medical care to their soft toy patients greatly add to the appeal of the book. There are also pages of stickers, labels and animal record sheets to give the ‘surgery’ authenticity. The book would be an inspiring resource for the nursery or early years classroom and some parents and grandparents would also find it of considerable interest.