Josie, usually the best and first at almost everything, is the last in her class to lose a tooth—and she’s determined to change that.
Josie and Richard are friends with a healthy dose of competition at Blueberry Hill Elementary School. After a few unsuccessful attempts to lose a tooth just like Richard (and all her classmates), she laments, “What if she had baby teeth for the rest of her life?” Richard, the perennial friend, cheers her up with a game of shark-chases-squid tag during which Josie accidentally loses her tooth—literally. Josie worries that the Tooth Fairy won’t come through on her end of the bargain and writes her a letter of appeal. A surprising gift reveals an understanding Tooth Fairy who boosts friendship over money. Mann’s rustic pencil-and-pastel illustrations so closely resemble a child’s drawings it’s as if Josie has chronicled her own story. The inclusion of the letters to and from the Tooth Fairy may very well inspire young writers. The realistic dialogue, effective use of italics, and simple, kidlike vocabulary work well with the illustrations to create a satisfying tale on a familiar theme centered on friendship, play, and imagination. Josie has brown skin, rosy cheeks, and dark brown braids, and Richard has pale skin, freckles, and red hair.
Readers will feel assured that anxiety is short-lived and friendship endures. (Picture book. 4-7)