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"H is for Haemodialysis" Written by Anita and Simon Howell and Illustrated by Sue Roche (2016)

“H is for Haemodialysis” is Anita and Simon Howell’s first book and is a little different from the stories I am used to sharing with the Mini Reviewers. This picture book has been specifically written to help children whose families are affected by kidney problems and it has been inspired by Anita and Simon’s own experiences of dealing with kidney failure as a family. Simon, a doctor, has required both haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis and he has also been through an unsuccessful transplant. The couple decided to write this book when unable to find any appropriate literature to explain the situation to their own children.

H is for Haemodialysis
The story is told by Lucy who is eight. Lucy has a younger brother called Jack. In the book Lucy explains that their daddy has kidney problems and needs a new kidney. While he is waiting for a kidney transplant, he has to have regular dialysis. She describes their family life and how their daddy can’t do all the things he used to do. She talks about everything from dialysis and fistulas to his special diet. She also shares how she hopes once their daddy has had a transplant, he will feel a lot better and they will be able to go out for the whole day together.

The book is a simple introduction to the issues surrounding kidney failure. It also illustrates how living with chronic illness can impact the whole family. The information provided is easy to understand and the medical terminology is clearly explained. Most importantly the tone of the book manages to remain relatively light despite the serious nature of the content. This is down to the story being told from a child’s perspective as well as Sue Roche's charming illustrations of a such a caring family.  I can see how this book would be incredibly helpful for families affected by kidney disease.

If you would like more information about this book please see:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All opinions are, as always, my own.


  1. This sounds like a really informative book! Thanks for sharing #ReadWithMe

  2. It's often difficult to explain illness to children. It's so great that this book has been written by a doctor who has first hand experiences that he can share.


    1. Yes definitely Catherine. It is sure to help children and families going through this experience. Thank you for commenting.

  3. Looks like a really helpful book on a rather tricky subject! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

  4. This is such a good idea to help children understand, but also to create an opportunity for adults and children to talk about difficult subjects, as chronic illness. A platform to ask questions and share concerns. Children have a greater capacity for understanding medical and technical terms than they are sometimes given credit for. Good choice of book to review.

  5. This looks like a great book and a perfect way to explain complicated medical procedures to children. I always try and give mine honest answers about things like this as it is probably less confusing that way. Thanks for sharing #readwithme