“It’s hard for a small, ugly skeleton to make friends.”
Skeleton Oscar is sad when he loses a tooth—he looks “so dreadful” without it—but at least he has his skeleton dog, Tag, to play with. One day, he sees a little girl burying a tooth; she seems to be a possible friend. When she sees Oscar’s missing tooth, she laughs out loud and offers him the tooth she is about to bury. A moment later, she takes him by the hand, and their adventure begins. The minimal text lets the collaged pictures tell the story. Oscar and the girl look at a rainbow and smell the scent of wet grass and visit her house, where they meet her ma. They also frolic at the seaside and share their biggest secrets. Oscar takes her by the hand to return the favor. He takes her to his favorite places: the park and the library and up a tree to look for sleeping butterflies. Readers will note that the backgrounds of her world are vivid and bright while his are black with hints of brown and warm reds. Both are richly textured and fanciful, the gutter serving as permeable demarcation between worlds. At day’s end, Oscar gives her back the tooth; what he’s found is much more valuable.
Color and composition combine to beautifully express friendship and the wonders of the world. (Picture book. 3-12)