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by Charlotte Middleton & illustrated by Charlotte Middleton

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8037-2583-3
Publisher: Putnam

Middleton’s quirky debut features a spunky heroine and her troublesome, tenacious tooth. Attracted by her father’s tales of a fairy bearing money, Tabitha is overjoyed when she discovers her first loose tooth. Although the recalcitrant tooth wriggles promisingly, it does not fall out. Undeterred, Tabitha concocts some extraordinary schemes to relieve herself of it. Alas, her wacky attempts—which include lassoing a tortoise and tying the string to her tooth, vigorous bouncing on the trampoline, and endeavoring to attract the attentions of a Venus flytrap—all fail to eject the stubborn thing. Desolate and dejected, Tabitha resigns herself to a night without a visit from the Tooth Fairy when a renegade sneeze propels the tooth from her mouth. Middleton’s hilarious tale is just the right prescription for children apprehensively awaiting the loss of their own first tooth, and they’ll be too busy giggling over Tabitha’s escapades to ponder their own anxieties. The offbeat illustrations perfectly complement the text; simple, flat drawings whose bright colors deliberately overlap the lines are set on oversized pages, allowing full range for giant open mouths or off-the-page trampoline bounces. Accompanied by her faithful feline, Tabitha is as much fun to watch as she is to read about. (Picture book. 4-8)