A child having surgery can be stressful for the entire family, whether it is planned or unexpected. We find families who know what to expect are often less anxious and better prepared for their hospital experience.

Web Content

AHS Info

Other Helpful Websites

Note: These resources have general information and ideas for preparing for a surgery. As these resources are not from Alberta Children's Hospital some of the details, especially about the hospital space may be different.

Book List

These resources are available to borrow at the Family & Community Resource Centre. You can also check with your local library or with The Alberta Library for the availability of these resources.

You can download, print, and share this list.

  • Franklin Goes to the Hospital

    Paulette Bourgeois (2000)

    Franklin is a turtle who must have an operation to fix his shell. The book explains the hospital experience well and addresses the fear and questions many children have about the hospital. Recommended for ages 3-10.

  • The Surgery Book for Kids

    Shivani Bhatia (2010)

    This book was written by a pediatric anesthesiologist. She tells the story of a boy named Iggy who must have his tonsils out. The pictures are a great mix of cartoon images and real photos in the hospital. Recommended for ages 6-12.

  • Good-Bye Tonsils

    Julianna Hatkoff and Craig Hatkoff (2004)

    It is time for Julianna to have her tonsils taken out. With the support of her friends, her family, books and toys, she knows exactly what to expect. Recommended for ages 3-10.

  • Harry Goes to the Hospital: A Story for Children About What It's Like to Be In the Hospital

    Howard J. Bennett (2008)

    Harry is sick and needs to go to the hospital. He is scared of all the new people, needles, and staying the night in a strange place. This story of a hospital stay answers questions and helps children explore their feelings. Recommended for ages 4-12.

  • When Molly was in the Hospital: A Book for Brothers and Sisters of Hospitalized Children

    Debbie Duncan (1994)

    This sensitive book shows the viewpoint of an older sibling when her younger sister needs to go the hospital for an operation. Recommended for ages 3-12.

  • Curious George Goes to the Hospital

    Margret Rey and H. A. Rey (1996)

    George has eaten a puzzle piece and needs to go the hospital to have the piece removed. Children will learn about hospitals in this fun book. Recommended for ages 3-8.

  • Your Child in the Hospital: A Practical Guide for Parents

    Nancy Keene (2015)

    This book written for parents offers advice for coping with a child’s hospitalization. It includes easy to read tips on preparing your child and handling procedures without trauma.


Thank you to our friends from Calgary Public Library and Pediatric Child Life Services at the Alberta Children's Hospital for their contributions.


This material is designed for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please contact your doctor or appropriate health care professional.
No copyright infringement is intended.

For more information contact the Family Librarian at 403-955-7745 or
or contact Child Life at 403-955-2593 or