In this debut chapter book, a tooth fairy intends to be the best collector ever.
In Brushelot, Batina’s oversized fairy wings sometimes make her clumsy, but she’s determined they won’t get in her way on her first day on the job as a tooth collector. Batina joins her friends Lainey and Lulu to get their assignments. One fairy, Jolene, didn’t study and failed the collector tests; she’s a bully who wears toothpicks in her hair. Collection goes well, but the teeth must be inspected, because only well-brushed ones can be transformed into fairy dust—without it, the enchanted beings can’t fly. First, Batina almost loses her tooth in the Inspection Department. Then the conveyor belt to the Manufacturing Department gets stuck (a toothpick is found in the works) and, finally, the Super-Duper Magic Dust-Making Machine won’t start. But teamwork and determination, with Batina in the lead, solve these problems, and even Jolene helps out—her toothpick making a vital link in the fairy chain of power that restarts the Dust-Making Machine. Batina’s perseverance is recognized at that night’s ceremony, and she credits her friends, even thanking Jolene, for the roles they played. Jolene apologizes for sabotaging the conveyor belt, and all are friends now. In her book for kids ages 5 to 9, Ditto underlines the importance of well-brushed teeth from a tooth fairy’s point of view, an intriguing choice since children are generally more interested in what the collector leaves under their pillows. The book is less about good dental hygiene and more about the virtues of teamwork, persistence, friendship, and honesty. But the morals are lightened by the story’s humor and charm; Jolene’s perverse use of toothpicks (not recommended by dentists) is a great touch, making her reformation almost a shame. The colorful illustrations by Utomo (Mayanito’s New Friends, 2017, etc.) skillfully capture this magical world, from gauzy wings to metal contraptions. The characters are depicted with a wide range of expressions, although all appear to be white.
An entertaining behind-the-scenes look at tooth fairies.