With the help of several animal friends and a little white girl named Julie, a little bird learns all about dental health.
Charlie the bird watches Julie conscientiously brush her teeth every day, which causes him to wonder how he can brush his. He knows that he doesn’t look after them properly. He asks Goldfish, who tells Charlie that sharks clean their sharp teeth with seaweed. When Charlie tries the same thing with some clover leaves, they just turn his beak green. Little Hamster tells Charlie that beavers use bark. This illustration, in which Charlie and Little Hamster perch on the edge of a bathtub in which a large beaver lolls, exemplifies the book’s playful sense of surrealism. The tub sits surrounded by delicate flowers; a tube of toothpaste rests on the ground. When Charlie tries to clean his teeth on a leg of the kitchen table, Julie’s mom yells at him…and he gets a sore beak. More mishaps ensue before Julie patiently explains that he can’t brush his teeth because he doesn’t have any. But she’ll help him brush his beak; it’ll be the shiniest in town. Zafrilla’s quirky characters help her lesson go down easy. Wimmer’s clever illustrations move readers and Charlie between realistic scenes and fanciful ones. The tale is fairly insubstantial, but the pages are made of water- and tear-resistant Stone Paper, made without trees or bleach.
Cute if not particularly memorable. (Picture book. 3-6)