Hicks, S. and Budeanu, A. (2014). The Toothless Tooth Fairy. Milwaukee: Mirror Publishing.
Children's Picture Book / Fiction / Fantasy
I gave this book 5 of 5 stars.
When kind fairy Bella loses a tooth due to mean fairy Zelda playing a trick, Bella is devastated and thinks she's too ugly to be in the smile contest. Bella uses the fairy data base and goes on a quest to borrow a soon-to-be-lost tooth so that her smile will be beautiful -- but will she succeed? Will Zelda's meanness stand in the way?
In The Toothless Tooth Fairy, author Shanelle Hicks and illustrator Anca Delia Budeanu have teamed up to make an adorable book that teaches important lessons and is a feast for the eyes. The lessons are plentiful, including kindness is always the right answer, smiles are always beautiful, ugliness inside can produce ugliness outside, and pretty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Budeanu's illustrations are expressive with soft, muted colors and show great diversity in the representations of the different fairies. Readers will easily identify with at least one of the fairies and will love the story, too.
I read this along with my eight-year-old niece, and she giggled a bunch (especially with the evil "Muah ha ah ha ha" laugh) and was surprised by Bella's treatment of Zelda. This fostered a discussion about the power of kindness. Interestingly enough, she found the parts that introduced ways to get a loose tooth out slightly creepy -- but informative! There was a small bit of confusion with the title of the award at the end, but it didn't interfere with the enjoyment of the story.
I recommend this to children second grade and younger, to be read independently or as a read-along for the younger ones. Thank you to the author for providing me a print copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.
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