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LULU AND THE MISSING TOOTH FAIRY

A clever, humorous, and joyful tooth story.

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A lost, inexperienced tooth fairy keeps a 5-year-old child waiting for her money in this debut picture book.

Lulu, a bespectacled White girl about to lose her first tooth, plans to spend her reward on a pony. At the same time, Trixie looks forward to her first assignment as a tooth fairy. When Lulu’s tooth pops out (with the help of a slammed door and string), Trixie plugs her assignment into her Fairy Positioning System and heads out. But instead of going to San Juan Island, Washington, she arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There, she meets Ratoncito, who collects the teeth of kids in Puerto Rico, and realizes she has to try again. After another false start, Trixie finally arrives, and Lulu uses her tooth fairy money to get a playmate—a hobby horse. The parallel stories of Lulu and Trixie only intersect in the one moment where both are in the same room in a sweet two-page spread. Ortiz’s digital cartoon illustrations give the impression of watercolors, with soft edges and invisible line work, presenting lush environments for Trixie’s travels. Richey’s accessible text features several vocabulary words that may challenge emergent readers (cavities, drenched). Some design choices add an extra oomph to action words like looped. The messages that a fairy should never give up and that different places have their own distinctive tooth traditions come through beautifully.

A clever, humorous, and joyful tooth story.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-578-89850-6

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bright Meadow Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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HOW TO CATCH A MAMASAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series.

Another creature is on the loose.

The long-running series continues its successful formula with this Hallmark card of a book, which features bright illustrations and catchy rhymes. This time, the mythical creature the racially diverse children set out to catch is an absent mom who does it all (lists of descriptors include the words banker, caregiver, nurse, doctor, driver, chef, housekeeper, teacher, entertainer, playmate, laundry service, problem solver, handywoman, cleaner, and alarm clock) but doesn’t seem to have a job outside the home and is inexplicably a dinosaur. As the children prepare gifts and a meal for her, the text becomes an ode to the skills the Mamasaurus possesses (“Day or night she’s always there. / She meets every wish and need”) and values she instills (“Sometimes life can mean hard work,” “kindness matters,” and “what counts is doing your best”). This well-intentioned selection veers into cliche generously sprinkled with saccharine but manages to redeem itself with its appreciation for mothers and all that they may do. Endpapers include a “to” and “from” page framed in a heart, as well as a page where young gift givers or recipients can draw a picture of their Mamasaurus.

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781728274300

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2024

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