TOOTHWORMS AND SPIDER JUICE

AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF DENTISTRY

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. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7613-1465-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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