Rosemary Wells, . . Candlewick, $12.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0639-8

Reprising characters glimpsed in Here Comes Mother Goose, the incomparable Wells stages one of childhood's most commonplace dramas—a trip to the doctor—and presents it with such gentleness that the experience becomes soothing instead of scary. Once again she demonstrates her supreme economy: the words are few, leading the audience into the artwork for the full story. The tale opens with Felix, a guinea pig, whooping it up, jumping on his bed and flinging his toys about with happy abandon: "At bedtime Felix ate too many chocolate blimpies and stayed up way too late." As Felix suffers the after-effects the next day, his mother offers various remedies (chamomile tea, sugared prunes) before calling Doctor Duck, who perches atop his desk, barely bigger than his telephone. Felix is afraid, but Doctor Duck lets Felix's mother stay with him, then performs a painless examination and doses Felix with "two spoonfuls of Happy Tummy." Evoking the days of radio and rotary phones, the curving images in the pictures suggest comfort as they echo the mother's rounded, embracing figure. Doctor Duck, in a red and white polka-dot bow tie and pinstriped vest under his white jacket, his spectacles midway down his bill, seems always to be smiling; Felix, meanwhile, is allowed to look nervous. Children in the throes of minor illness as well as those who worry about visiting the doctor will find this reassuring book a welcome Rx. Ages 2-up. (May)