Written by Susan Hood
Illustrated by Janice Nadeau
Published by Kids Can Press, 2012
Themes: losing teeth, different ‘tooth fairy traditions, tooth mouse, France, youthful ingenuity
Once long ago, atop an ancient cathedral in France, there lived a small mouse who would NOT go to bed.
“Shush, chérie,” said the roosting dove, “it’s time to sleep.”
“But I’m not sleepy,” said Sophie, “I want to play Tooth Mouse. Cranky old cats can’t catch me. watch this!”
In this French cathedral of Notre Dame proportions a teeny weeny mouse dreams of becoming the new Tooth Mouse. The old Tooth Mouse is indeed ready to choose a successor. The many contenders, including the youngest, Sophie, must perform three tasks to prove themselves. The tasks become more challenging and the contenders fewer until just three remain. The final task is presented in a locked cathedral chamber where thousands of names are inscribed upon the stone walls of young children who will soon loose a tooth. What should be done with all those baby teeth. Is small Sophie up to this task, even she, doubts herself.
Why I like this book:
The illustrations, with a dominance of pale pink and green, are exquisite and invited me once into this fable. The scattered French expressions are perfect. The contrast of the smallness of the mice and vastness of the edifice is powerful and the onomatopoeia and poetic nature of the text enhance the fairytale like quality. This is an adorable account of the French Tooth Mouse tradition instead of the anglo-saxon tooth fairy, who delivers coins to French children in exchange for their baby teeth. Having taught in international schools I have always enjoyed the various tooth fairy traditions from around the world. Stories like this are a great reminder that there are so many ways to do things! I was very happy to see a list at the book of the book of tooth traditions in other nations.
I would recommend reading this with Throw Your Tooth on the Roof, and looking at different traditions with your children. Maybe children can then choose the tradition they like best and write their own story!
Susan Hood is the author of more than 200 children’s books, and more about here can be found on her website: http://www.susanhoodbooks.com/. Susan provides two great activities to accompany THE TOOTH MOUSE, here.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.