CM . . . .
Volume V Number 1 . . . . September 4, 1998
The dentist came in a shiny black car. He opened up Andrew's mouth, looked inside and said, "Ooh, ooh, ooh! It's a loose tooth! I know what to do."Typical Munsch fare for little ones, this story tells of Andrew's plight as his loose tooth prevents him from eating an apple. No matter what his parents do to try to dislodge it, the tooth will not come out. A dentist is summoned, but his attempts, too, have disastrous results. Finally, Andrew's friend Louis phones the Tooth Fairy who roars up on a large motorcycle. Her attempts, one of which employs a hammer to clang the loose tooth, also fail. Louis, in a stroke of genius, sprinkles pepper up Andrew's nose, and, in one giant "Ahhhhh-choo!', Andrew sneezes that tooth clear across town.
This book is vintage Munsch. The author takes a common kids' dilemma and weaves a story around it. His use of repetition, exaggeration, and a plot in which the adults are incompetent and the kids find the solution to a problem, has obvious appeal for youngsters. The text is large, easy to read, and appears consistently on the left-hand page.
Though the story is rather boring, the book's one redeeming quality lies in Martchenko's trademark watercolour illustrations which are bright, colourful, and jam-packed with humorous details. Imagine the pony-tailed dentist, wearing a carpenter's toolbelt around his waist, arriving in a car with a "007" license plate and a giant tooth on its roof. Or the tooth fairy, on her Harley, looking like a cheerful biker mamma, born to be wild.
Although this story will be enjoyed by the very young, it is doubtful that it will be requested again and again. Limited audience appeal in a school setting.
Recommended with reservations.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, Manitoba.
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