In this beautifully executed title with a fairy-tale feel, an irrepressible mouseling named Sophie is determined to prove she should become the next Tooth Mouse.
Some cultures have a tooth fairy; France has the Tooth Mouse. The current esteemed rodent is about to retire and announces a search for her replacement. Shrewdly elegant in all black with spectacles resting on her pronounced nose, she issues to the throngs of ambitious mice a series of three challenges: “bring … the whisker of a cat,” obtain “a silver coin by honest means,” and propose a plan for the countless baby teeth that are collected each day. Sophie proves brave and honest but struggles with her final task. That night she dreams of teeth: “Shiny teeth, tiny teeth. Munching teeth, crunching teeth. Chewing, chattering, gnawing, guffawing teeth!” When she wakes, she has an answer that is simple yet wise. Hood masterfully spins her story with lush language sprinkled with some French (which further impresses when read aloud). Nadeau dresses the fable in soft watercolor-and-pencil illustrations done in sage greens and dusty pinks. Readers will pore over the exquisitely drawn details on each page, from the vignettes highlighting the plucky competitors to the multitude of unique teeth that populate Sophie’s dream.
With a nod to classic titles of years past, this provides a fresh, modern take on an itty-bitty heroine's achievement of her seemingly impossible goal. (Picture book. 4-8)