TOOTHWORMS AND SPIDER JUICE by Loretta Frances Ichord

TOOTHWORMS AND SPIDER JUICE

An Illustrated History of Dentistry
Age Range: 8 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ichord takes a breezy, topical approach to the history of dentistry, and achieves a remarkable collection of information in need of bridgework. The book begins with the ancients of the Western world and continues through a hasty summation of modern Western dentistry; although occasional facts point to a global dimension—e.g., seven lines crediting the Hindus of India with the first use of a toothbrush, followed by a description of an ancient Chinese toothbrush—most of the book faces staunchly West. Ichord’s reliance on lists results in invigorating snippets of vague information, in which, for example, interesting behaviors are attributed to “some cultures.” It’s an approach that will appeal to short attention spans but which fails to move the general discussion along in a meaningful manner. Among the illustrative and interesting material is the requisite discussion of George Washington’s dentures, appended to the conclusion of the chapter on tooth loss, while a history of the tooth fairy tradition’somewhat related to tooth loss—appears in a different chapter. Readers will arrive at solid historical facts in due time, such as Pierre Fauchard’s founding of modern scientific dentistry, but the book relies more on fabulous facts than comprehensive coverage of the rise of dentistry. More for tidbit-surfing than for report-writing, this volume may inspire research, through its inclusion of oddities and the exotic. (photos, notes, glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14.)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7613-1465-2
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Millbrook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999