When Veda loses her first tooth on Christmas Eve, an aspiring tooth fairy must battle Santa for the chance to leave her something.
In Deenihan’s wordy text, Santa Claus (who, like the protagonist fairy and the little girl, appears white with light skin) is surprisingly cranky and territorial about Christmas Eve gift-giving. “Please feel free to come back any other night of the year,” he tells Blue, a fairy on his first lost-tooth mission and out to prove himself worthy of “a spot on the Tooth Fairy Team.” The stakes are high: If he fails to “locate and retrieve the client’s lost tooth” he will “be assigned to the polishing department for one year”—the worst job ever, apparently. But Santa won’t budge when Blue makes his case: “We can’t share Christmas Eve!” And so begins a raucous competition that causes a mess, upending a plate bearing cookies and a carrot. Also on that plate is a letter addressed to both of them that provokes a change of heart in the grinchy Santa. He and Blue clean up, and Blue takes Veda’s tooth and leaves a coin (hard to see in the busy picture), while Santa puts presents under the tree. They leave a note, too, and then Santa takes the triumphant Blue back to Toothtopia. The garish illustrations are more often overcrowded than not, a problem exacerbated by the oddly out-of-sync candy-colored palette.
Skip. (Picture book. 4-6)