The Tooth Mouse – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Spread the love

toothTitle: The Tooth Mouse

Written by Susan Hood

Illustrated by Janice Nadeau

Published by Kids Can Press, 2012

Ages: 3-5

Themes: losing teeth, different ‘tooth fairy traditions, tooth mouse, France, youthful ingenuity

Opening lines:

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: 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.

This entry was posted in Book recommendation, Perfect Picture Book Friday and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to The Tooth Mouse – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Lori Mozdzierz says:

    The book sounds adorable! I like the idea of children exploring other traditions and an option to select which they would like to use. What a great way to introduce young readers to the French language.

    • Joanna says:

      Kids are always surprised to find out that other nations do it differently. It’s a great way to start looking at other cultures with small children.

  2. This sounds merveilleux! I didn’t realize there were so many twists on the tooth fairy tale. Learning something new. :))

  3. Love this book! Not only because of the historic value and cleverness of the plot, but France is my favorite European country. Thanks for sharing it, Joanna!

  4. I just saw this book in the library yesterday! I agree about the art, so perfectly lovely. Great review.

  5. It’s now on my library list-thanks, Joanna

  6. Adorable! Merci, Joanna!

  7. Yep, love the watercolor art, and the intro to an ‘other’ tradition!

  8. Never realised there were so many different tranditions of the tooth fairy, Joanna! I love also that one can learn a few words of a different language. Merci, for sharing Joanna.

  9. Joanna says:

    Yes, kids will enjoy the rich learning and story experience in this picture book, Diane!

  10. This is great! I love to learn different traditions (plus I like books with different language phrases). I haven’t heard of the “Tooth Mouse”! Thank you for telling us about it. 🙂

  11. This looks really cute, Joanna! And I’m wondering if little Sophie comes up with a good solution for all those baby teeth! Guess I’ll have to read and find out 🙂

  12. Barbara says:

    I love mice stories…there’s something very sweet about those little creatures. (My neighbour doesn’t know about a very cute little rat I’ve been watching from my office window. He literally skips and jumps through the flowers beside their deck:) hopefully he stays over there. Haha!)
    Thanks for the great recommendation!

  13. This is a great book. I love the French sprinkled throughout. I reviewed it back in 2012. She, also, has a book with Spanish sprinkled throughout that I reviewed prior to The Tooth Mouse. It is wonderful, too. The title is Spike the Mixed-up Monster. You may want to give it a read if you haven’t.

  14. This book looks like a winner with children. Love to learn about different tooth fairy traditions.

  15. Oh…this is perfect, Joanna! A little mouse named Sophie (my new grand-daughter’s name!) who lives in France (my son and his wife have been there many times and have promised to take me…hopefully next year). I will scout out this book for sure. Thanks for a great review…looks like a sweet and beautiful little book.

  16. Joanna says:

    Vivian, thanks for sharing this personal connection, that’s lovely!

  17. Rhythm says:

    Haha! A Tooth Mouse. Fairies are strange enough, but a mouse? how do you folks come up with this stuff? The book sounds pretty cute though. I really like the cover. I’ll have to check this book out and find out more about these teeth stealing creatures. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.