Children will identify with Lola as she nervously waits to be called into the doctor’s office. Lola feels a little bit brave when the doctor looks into her ears, a little braver when he examines her teeth, and bravest of all when she gets a shot.
Lola Goes to the Doctor tackles a very scary subject in the minds of young children. When my sister was young, she would cry and cry for days when she found out she had to go to the doctor. She was deathly afraid of needles, to the point she had to be put on Valium just to handle a blood test! I remember my mom reading multiple books to my little sister about Cabbage Patch Kids visiting the doctor, the Berenstein Bears and their visit, Arthur’s doctor visit, and I’m sure that we would have had Lola’s book in our collection if it had been around 15-20 years ago. Who wouldn’t be comforted by that sweet puppy’s face as she sits patiently in the waiting room with other animal friends, meets the nice doctor, gets weighed, has her teeth and ears checked, has her temperature taken, and even gets a shot? I’ll admit, her face does get a bit sad when she sees the needle, but it’s an adorable sad face that is encouraging. She presents the message that it’s ok to be scared, but that everything will be ok.
I had the pleasure of meeting sweet little Lola and her owner, Marcia Goldman, at ALA Annual in Las Vegas in June. She is adorable and so well behaved! I am not the least bit surprised that she was able to pose for all of these pictures. There are no illustrations in this book, just photos of Lola’s visit to the doctor. I feel like this is actually a huge selling point because it gives children the opportunity to see what a doctor’s office is like. It’s not scary. It’s clean, has fun toys in the waiting room, and smiling doctors roam the halls. The pictures are clear, colorful, and tell the story on their own. This is another huge selling point because children can flip through the book and understand its message without needing to know how to read. Lola talks about being brave like a big dog, and mentions her future visits to the doctor with a little bit of excitement. It’s no big deal at all!
While I certainly can’t guarantee that this book will solve all problems with the hard task of getting a child to the doctor (I still hate it myself!), I am sure it will aide in calming the child’s fears a bit. It presents information in a clear manner and encourages children to be big and brave like Lola. I’d definitely recommend it to elementary and public libraries, as well as to parents and/or caregivers who would like some help in presenting the concept of doctor visits in a delicate manner.