This super picture book is dedicated to families with children in long-term care and the staff who care for them.
Ollie’s grandma once visited him in hospital and told him about the ‘Hospital Hoppities’: magic rabbits that help out and brighten the days of children in hospital. Ollie (who has been in hospital A LOT) has never seen one. But one boring rainy day, as Ollie waits for a delayed operation, a scruffy purple rabbit gets her magic paw caught in his bedside cabinet. Ollie helps her to become invisible, and together they fly through the hospital wards, anonymously fixing things and spreading happiness. They even sprinkle magic on the medicines to ‘make them work really well’. When her work is done, the Hoppity vanishes in a cloud of glitter. Ollie’s operation goes ahead, and as he wakes up from the ‘special medicine’ he thinks he feels some fluffy rabbit whiskers on his hand…
We loved the final illustration in the story, depicting Ollie fast asleep and recovering from his operation with a Hoppity curled up and snoozing at the foot of his bed.
Not only does this picture book give a voice to children in long-term hospital care, it also sparks their imaginations and raises awareness of all the amazing good deeds that are performed every day in hospitals by staff, volunteers and supporters. The illustrations contain lots of details of medical equipment that should help to normalise the hospital environment (Ollie wears a nasal cannula and has a drip by his bed, other children are shown in wheelchairs, a boy using a crutch has an amputated leg). The author and illustrator have collaborated successfully to create a really endearing rabbit character who should make children feel more positive about staying in hospital.