Timmy LOVES his sweets, but he HATES to brush his teeth. He hates brushing his teeth so much, that when his teeth get fed up with the neglect and hit the road one night, he is overjoyed. Too bad he can’t eat any of his favorite snacks with only his tender gums for chewing. Luckily for Timmy, the Tooth Fairy is willing to help him track down his teeth in the perilous Lollipop Land. Our hero will have to befriend a fire dragon, outwit a tooth vampire, and battle a sugar monster, all while learning and practicing how to take impeccable care of his teeth. In the end, with a mouth full of sparkling, contented teeth, Timmy returns home, determined never to neglect them again.
In honor of Halloween, here is a story of vampires, witches and dragons, oh my. And cavities, because who doesn’t worry about cavities at this time of year? Kids Vs Cavities- How to Take Care of Your Teeth is part of a series of books by Peter Galante and Felipe Kolb all about kids learning new things and gaining life skills. Here’s the website: www.kidsvslife.com The series includes several books on foreign language learning, which is a sort of sub-series called Talking World. If I can ever stumble onto a copy of the Kids Vs French that I can get for under a dollar, I am for sure going to review it. For now, I’ll stick to this one, which I got for free on iBooks, here.
There are a whole mess of things my daughters and I like about this book. It is super fun. The picture of Timmy’s teeth plucking themselves out of his gums and climbing down the side of his face is hilarious. Then there is a part where Timmy has to fight a sugar monster before it eats his teeth, and he douses it with mouthwash like it’s the Wicked Witch of the West. My 5 year old thought that was very triumphant. It’s very clever how the different parts of tooth care are woven throughout the story, so that by the time Timmy gets his teeth back, he has exciting and real-life (well, sort of) experience doing everything he needs to do to take care of them. And the best part of reading this book with my kids was that, at the end of it, they all declared that they would always take good care of their teeth and trotted off to brush.
One thing I am not fond of in this story is that there are some grammar errors. Picture books are one of the greatest ways to expose young children to new vocabulary and language concepts, and when they contain grammar and spelling errors, it really gets under my skin. I do NOT want to have an argument with my 3 year old about whether the tooth vampire treated his teeth bad or badly. With a book like this, it’s pretty easy for me to make corrections as I’m reading, but I still don’t like it. Another thing I’m not a big fan of is that there are little places here and there where a couple of lines will rhyme, but there’s no meter and no consistency. If a story is going to rhyme, I want it to rhyme, and if not, just leave it alone. Of course, it is possible that Peter Galante has some kind of genius overarching pattern or code that explains the placement of his rhymes. In that case, I apologize to Mr. Galante.