Title: Medikidz - Explain Parkinson’s Disease
Authors: Dr Kim Chilman-Blair & Shawn deLoache
Reviewer: Marie Stevens, geriatric medicine staff nurse
What is it like?
This attractive 30 page book presents itself in the form of a comic. It is intended to illustrate Parkinson’s Disease in a uncomplicated way, which children can grasp. The authors do this by telling the story of a young girl called Alys. Alys is close to her inventor granddad who has Parkinson’s Disease the early part of the story shows Alys getting upset when her granddad’s hands shake and drops her invention.
The Medkidz are superhero type characters who take Alys to their word. Alys goes into the brain and explores the normal functions and then a brain without dopamine.
Alys then learns the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and is able to reminisce on these symptoms her granddad has.
What are the highlights?
Although Parkinson’s is serious, the story does bring in some humor and is written well to attract a child’s attention. There is lots of characters and colorful pictures, which complement the story wonderfully.
Strengths & weaknesses:
Parkinsons is explained in few simple steps. However, this is only a brief explanation and some children may ask more questions or may require further resources. It is not to replace the expertise of a professional who can help families.
Who should read it?
Families may welcome this book especially if parents/grandparents are effected with Parkinson’s disease and find it hard to explain. Community nurses/ care assistants may find it useful to pass on to families as a first stepping stone to help them.