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by An Vrombaut & illustrated by An Vrombaut

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: March 24th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-33379-7
Publisher: Clarion

In the morning, Clarabella’s friends, Ruby Rabbit, Liam Leopard, Max Monkey, and Zoe Zebra, brush their teeth and are ready to play. But Clarabella is a crocodile and has many, many teeth to brush. Playtime and lunchtime go by and Clarabella is still brushing. By tumble time she’s finally finished, but now her friends are getting ready for bed—and it’s time to brush teeth again. Then Ruby has an idea, and the friends surprise Clarabella with a crocodile-sized toothbrush. Vrombaut studied animation, a fact evident in her style of energetic and sprightly images and bright, bold pastel illustrations. Cleverly designed, with the text frequently moving with the actions, the double-paged spreads alternate between scenes with the friends, prominently set out on white backgrounds, in counterpoint to Clarabella, on full-bleeds that are vibrantly colored and full of details. A question at the end of each spread that describes what the friends are doing, asks, “And Clarabella?”—inviting a response from preschoolers. That participation opportunity, plus the clarity of the contrast of vivid colors against white, makes this a fun choice to share with a group. Sure to provoke toothsome grins. (Picture book. 3-6)