Nurse Clementine

Nurse Clementine

by Simon James

Clementine really wants to practice her first-aid skills, but her brother presents an unexpected challenge in a sweet, funny story from Simon James.

It’s Clementine Brown’s birthday, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown have given her a nurse’s outfit and a first-aid kit — just what she wanted! There is no shortage of emergencies that need her


Clementine really wants to practice her first-aid skills, but her brother presents an unexpected challenge in a sweet, funny story from Simon James.

It’s Clementine Brown’s birthday, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown have given her a nurse’s outfit and a first-aid kit — just what she wanted! There is no shortage of emergencies that need her attention (and her liberal use of bandages): Mr. Brown’s stubbed toe, Mrs. Brown’s headache, even Wellington the dog’s tender paw. But her brother, Tommy, is a different matter. Even though he keeps crashing into things, he insists that he doesn’t need a nurse. Clementine is sad — nurses really need someone to help. But could it be that when a real emergency occurs, her skills will be needed?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A girl with a nurturing nature discovers how much her family really needs her in this gently humorous story from James (George Flies South). When Clementine receives her dream birthday gift—a nurse’s outfit and first-aid kit—she can’t wait to begin her rounds, taking care of everyone. After enthusiastically bandaging Dad’s stubbed toe, Mom’s headache, and her dog Wellington’s (presumed) sore paw with yards upon yards of bandages, Nurse Clementine sets her sights on her rambunctious younger brother, Tommy, seen hurtling down the stairs in roller skates, goggles, and cape. Tommy, however, declines any medical attention, even as he spectacularly bumps and bounces off the furniture. But when Tommy gets himself into a scrape in which he does indeed need a helping hand, Nurse Clementine comes to the rescue. James’s ink-and-watercolor vignettes capture the exuberance of children pursuing their passions as well as playful family dynamics that many readers will find familiar. The ample white space and loosely rendered artwork, coupled with James’s understated and quietly funny narration, give the story a pleasant airiness. Ages 3–6. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
On her birthday, Clementine gets just what she wants: a nurse's outfit and first aid kit. Now she is eager for her first emergency. When her dad bangs his toe, she bandages the whole foot and tells him he must keep the bandage on for a week. Her mother, troubled by a headache, is also bandaged and told she must keep it on for a week. Finding her dog Wellington licking his paw, Clementine bandages that as well. But her daredevil brother Tommy is reluctant to accept her ministrations as he marches off to the yard. Clementine sighs, needing someone to tend. Then Tommy gets stuck up in a tree, slips and falls. He thanks her for catching him and allows her to bandage his scraped arm. She happily leads him away; he is bandaged from head to toe. Our very lively, cartoonlike heroine inhabits a watercolor and ink-drawn English middle-class house and backyard. She dashes to the "accidents" exuding professional technique with her medical kit, all the while expressing appropriate emotions. She is particularly dejected and then elated at her brother's rejection and ultimate downfall. The final pages detail all the equipment in her kit for eager young nurse-readers to peruse. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Clementine receives a nurse's outfit and first-aid kit for her birthday. Stethoscope and bandages in hand, she quickly sets about diagnosing her mom, dad, and even the family dog. Her younger brother proves to be a reluctant patient until a minor backyard mishap allows her to finally impress him with her medical prowess. Children will identify with Clementine's wholehearted commitment to her pretend occupation and her disappointment at her sibling's initial lack of interest in playing along. Repetition of several phrases, such as Nurse Clementine's instructions to her liberally bandaged patients to "keep this on for a week," makes the text suitable for both one-on-one readings and preschool storytimes. James's cartoon-style ink and watercolor illustrations, reminiscent of Quentin Blake's drawings, add charm and humor. A final spread depicts and labels the many instruments in Clementine's kit, including a thermometer, a tongue depressor, and "emergency toffees." The only disappointment is the depiction of the children's pretend play (she is the nurse, he is the superhero), which reinforces traditional gender-normative behavior. While the author misses an opportunity to present a more expansive field of future occupations for the young protagonist, it is otherwise a sweetly funny sibling story.—Kiera Parrott, Darien Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Clementine receives a first-aid kit (complete with otoscope, tongue depressor and reflex hammer!) as a birthday present and assumes a new identity: Nurse Clementine. Minor injuries and ailments (her dad's stubbed toe and her mom's headache) require thorough examinations and generous application of bandages. Pen, ink and watercolor illustrations appear on roomy white pages that flatter James' gestural black lines and palette of muted terra cottas, sandy yellows, and subdued blues and greens. Multiple scenes surface on double-page spreads, floating cheerily in a placid white ocean. Eyes move easily between these islands of image and the well-placed (and -spaced) text, making this read fast and loose--a lot like the nimble artwork. Clementine's quick exchanges with little brother Tommy, shown scattered across the page, work particularly well as visual banter. Tommy has no use for Nurse Clementine, but he quickly calls for his big sister when he gets stuck in a tree. Brothers and sisters will appreciate authentic family friction (Tommy's "Leave me alone!") and the kindness exchanged after Clementine's rescue mission and Tommy's scrape ("You can bandage it if you like"). Pleasant pictures for pretend-play fanatics; a sweet story for siblings. (Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.60(d)
AD390L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Simon James is the award-winning author-illustrator of many children’s books, including such favorites as Leon and Bob and the Baby Brains series. Simon James lives in England.

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