Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Power of a Good Book

I've been going to my dentist my whole life. So as soon as my son was born, he said "Bring your little boy in when he's two and a half for his first visit!"

Six months ago, when he turned two, I decided that I didn't want him to just walk cold into a dentist office full of strange equipment. So, I started to read reviews of toddler books for a dentist visit.

There are actually lots of them, but the one that got the best reviews was Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist with Dora the Explorer. My son loved it, and so did I. The illustrations are VERY realistic. The chair, the light, the equipment. Very real. We read the book about 100 times.

So, fast forward to yesterday: his first trip to the dentist.

He was clearly a little nervous as we walked back into the room with the dental assistant. But then I pulled out the book and started to show him that we were at the Dentist! We were seeing all the cool things in his favorite book. As soon as he made the connection, he was SO EXCITED! There was the special light! And the tray! And the faucet and cup! And the X-ray machine!

We had a great time. He said "AHHHHH" and let the dental assistant count his teeth (briefly). Then he watched as she counted my teeth. And then he sat on my lap, facing me, and helped hold the suction while I was getting my teeth polished. It was a great visit, and I credit that book. I am 100% positive that if we had just walked in without the pre-reading, he would have been scare or bored or some horrible combo of both. Thanks, Dora!

I find myself wondering if anyone else has had similar learning experiences with books for their toddlers. Toilet training? Doctor? First time going to school? I'm ready to go get more books!

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