In a real hand-to-mouth encounter a dentist's personality might make all this forced jollity work. As it is, any kid with a nose for the phony should be turned off by Dr. Schwaid's playing up to Michael (""Why you're growing so fast you're even taller than I am""), his talk of magic (""Now what's the magic word that makes Sam come out of hiding?""), and the general tone of synthetic assurance. (In the waiting room, Michael ""finds an interesting children's book and his mother reads him a story to make the time pass more pleasantly."") The purpose of the visit is a filling, and Wolf leads into it deliberately, showing first the air syringe and Michael's X-rays, then having Michael balk momentarily at the ""magic orange machine"" (a nose mask that delivers nitrous oxide) but smile once it's in place, and only then hauling out the drill ("". . . because of the nitrous oxide, he is not bothered by pain or discomfort""). As always, Wolf's photos are accomplished and to the point--no one could make a dentist's office look inviting--and the book does give an accurate, positive view of what goes on there.