Author: Shanelle Hicks
Illustrated By: Anca Delia Budeanu
Publisher: Mirror Publishing
Publication Date: April 11, 2014
Genre: Picture Book
Book Summary (from Goodreads)
Bella had it all. The hair, the dress, and the smile. One day, her most important asset was missing…her tooth! Will Bella find the perfect tooth in time for the contest? Will Zelda, the meanest of the fairies, destroy Bella’s chances of winning the crown? Take a journey onto Cloud Nine as Bella searches for a new tooth only to discover the tooth…I mean truth…behind her true beauty.
I was very excited when I received this book in the mail. We haven’t been able to review any picture books, and I was looking forward to doing so.
The author started the book well. (Beware, spoilers follow!) It looked like a book where there was a moral lesson with great illustrations an a fun concept. It starts off well, the message being that beauty isn’t as important as kindness. But the message gets lost when the first few pages talk about how pretty Bella is, with one sentence about how her kindness is the most beautiful part of her, the Miss Tooth Fairy Smile competition seems to be all about how you look. When the mean tooth fairy, Zelda, sabotages Bella’s attempts at the contest, Bella loses a tooth. She then goes on a search for a replacement from children who are about to lose their teeth.
As tooth fairies go, she doesn’t seem to be a very good one! She pulls one little girl’s tooth out, but loses it and leaves an IOU behind. She’s focused on her appearance and winning the competition, rather than what she’s doing to the children and their teeth. At one point she even uses pliers! When she goes back, sad that she’ll be without her tooth, there’s no mention made that maybe her actions weren’t the best idea.
The ending where Zelda turns into a witch, but is then saved by Bella’s love, is a bit out of left field for me. I see what the author is trying to accomplish there, but it fell short of the mark for me.
The book isn’t bad. The multicultural elements of the illustrations are nice, the implied message is good even though flawed. The illustrations are humorous and match the story (important in a picture book) and really are well done. Overall, its an okay read. The age level is hard to pin point, as I think its geared for much younger children, who may not be losing teeth yet and for whom some of the implied lessons will be hard to grasp. If you’re willing to discuss things with your child as you read, it could be good.
Where to Find the Book
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-tootless-tooth-fairy-shanelle-hicks/1119282448?ean=9781612251400&itm=1&usri=9781612251400&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201
Book provided by author in exchange for honest review.