Sure to win over young fairy lovers about to lose their first teeth.

Teeth Fairies

A BABY TEETH TRADITION

Tired of tooth brushing battles? Try tempting your early grade schooler with this debut picture book and plush set in the tradition of Elf on the Shelf.

If you think there’s only one tooth fairy, think again: “The head tooth fairy’s job is just impossible to do. / So she has a school of fairy friends to help her get to you.” According to this delightfully illustrated picture book, every child has a tooth fairy in training assigned to him or her to help keep an eye on tooth brushing habits. These fairies have to report back to the fairy boss and let her know whether the child is doing a good job; they also note what the child is interested in, so the fairies can plan the best gift for when those teeth fall out. Once the first loose tooth falls out, the fairy can take it back to Fairyland and become an official tooth fairy. The book has spaces for personalization, including an illustration where the child’s name can be placed on a tooth cup and a space for the child to name her fairy. The final page offers a tooth chart, where the date, tooth number, and surprise left by the fairy can all be listed. The child-friendly illustrations feature both children and fairies of different genders and ethnicities, and the text often becomes part of the illustration, with big, bold letters encouraging beginning readers to participate in lap reading. The magic of tooth fairy presents has its usual appeal and is presented here without too much emphasis on the size of the gift (the suggested range is “a coin or special toy”). Some parents may be frustrated with the spying-plush-toy technique of discipline, which, à la Elf on the Shelf and Mensch on a Bench, implies that a toy will leave the house to report a child’s behavior to a disciplinarian; there’s a bit of a Big Brother mentality there. Nevertheless, some parents may find that the technique offers much-needed relief from tooth brushing woes. The suggested price point for the boxed set is quite high in comparison to similar kits, and it offers no personalization of the doll, but the production quality of both the book (with its glittered cover and thick matte pages) and the plush toy are equally high.

Sure to win over young fairy lovers about to lose their first teeth.

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-692-28812-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Teeth Fairies

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.

IT HAPPENED ON SWEET STREET

Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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