The book explains addiction in a way children understand, and describes how addiction can make you ill, both mentally and physically. It encourages children to talk about their feelings and reinforces the important messages that the addiction is not their fault, they are not alone and it’s OK to love someone who has an addiction. Narrated by Roach MD, an insect doctor, he tells the story of a happy functioning family called the Critters, who live in a shoebox land called Zapatos. As with all families, they sometimes have sadness and problems (which they call mad-sads) but always talk them through and bounce back. Their favourite thing is to play Critterball together. One day a hand appears in the shoe box containing something different: a cookie-like object (the Critters call it a Whateveritwas) and everything starts to change. The Critters love the cookies so much they will do anything to get more. They stop doing all the positive things they did as a family to keep themselves happy and well and just feed their addiction to the Whateveritwas all the time. One small Critter called Calvin realises just how mad-sad the cookies are making him and decides to make a ladder and leave the shoebox. Gradually he encourages the rest of her family to climb out too, and the family begin to talk to each other. Away from the addictive cookies, they begin to talk and apologise to each other and start functioning as a family again.