cover image My Friend the Dentist P

My Friend the Dentist P

Jane Werner Watson, Robert E. Switzer. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $3.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-56484-4

Two Read-Together books dissect the experiences of visiting a doctor and dentist into blow-by-blow first-person narrations. A small girl learns about teeth and then faces a friendly female dentist for her first-ever checkup. A little boy, too, gets a checkupplus a shot, urinalysis and, when sick, some medicine. The ""my friend'' phrase precedes most references to the doctor, dentist or nurse; but the refrain loses its positive value and begins to sound false, which undermines the information and gives it a didactic tone. Bland two-color pictures depict suitably sterile rooms but unfortunately these books don't compare favorably with titles such as Harlow Rockwell's My Dentist and My Doctor, Fred Rogers's Going to the Doctor, or other worthy picture books that tackle the same subjects. Ages 2-5. (September)