Just Going to the Dentist - Little Critter is an adaptation of the title of the same name - part of the Little Critter series of storybooks now available in application form.
As the name may imply, this is the story of the Little Critter’s trip to the dentist. In this world, Little Critter is an anthropomorphic animal - a little boy who has been found to be relatable to by children for many years.
While reading about this trip to the dentist, I enjoy how some of this visit mirrors the experience my son has had while going to the dentist as well, such as the waiting room filled with toys and books, making my son desire to go to his bi-yearly appointment.
I am also glad to see Little Critter go back to the exam room to have his checkup on his own - something my son is now expected to do, which at first was stressful for both him and for myself.
Adults may note how some of the details included, such as the use of a spit sink or the archaic-looking x-ray machine might seem dated by many of today's standards, but this is by far an adult concern and I am happy that Little Critter is wearing a protective apron before the image is taken.
It is important to mention that in this story, a cavity is found on the x-ray, which needs to be filled. A syringe is seen right before Little Critter is being numbed for the drilling that can be heard faintly as an ambient sound.
Parents may have mixed feelings about this detail of the app, some believing that cavities and needles may be too scary for children in preparation for their first visit. Others, especially those with a history of cavities in older siblings or other family members, may feel the need to bring up the topic of cavities as Little Critter is a champ through this process - a good role model who does not fuss during the procedure, yet discusses the odd sensation of numbness - possibly helping children to be aware yet not afraid.
I do think that telling Little Critter that he will not feel anything during this procedure is a bit disingenuous as the needle is felt even if the drilling is not. Therefore, I do wish that the poke was mentioned if this book feels the need to include the filling of a cavity. This explanation, however, may make for wordiness in a way that these titles are not known for.
Personally, I could do without the lollypop offered after the filing - even if it is labeled “sugar-free,” but this is a book worth discussing because parents, I am sure, may want a book which brings up the topic of dentists and even cavities to prepare their children.
Like other books developed by Oceanhouse Media, Just Going to the Dentist includes narration, a mode allowing one to read this book by oneself, as well as Auto play, allowing one to enjoy this book being read by the delightful child voice actor as with the pages turn automatically in Auto Play.
Do tap on the illustrations as object are labeled with narration and text, adding more details to what can be found in an dentists office, such as x-rays or a light box, but I did wish this app would go into even further details instead of labeling many items as just "dentist equipment"
New to this app is the ability to record one’s own voice, download this recording onto any device, as well as sharing personal narrations with others who have access to this app as well.
The text is also highlighted when read - always a nice touch, as is the ability to tap a word to hear it spoken individually.
As is the case of the other Little Critter apps, one can find Spiders and Frogs hidden among these pages, seen as well in the original printed versions that now are included as a simple and sweet added hidden picture mini-game. These original illustrations are also shown with zooming and panning of these pages to draw the reader's eye.
Although this story may not suit the needs of all families who are looking for a story about visiting the dentist, other parents may appreciate how Little Critter handled himself during this visit as a way to prepare their children.