When planning programs, I like to consult Chase’s Calendar of Events and Brownie Locks for ideas. Imagine my glee when I discovered that February 28th is National Tooth Fairy Day! Although I can’t find information on how it started or why that date was selected, that’s not stopping me from creating a special story time around it. Armed with a bundle of funny, creative, and multicultural children’s books about the tooth fairy and a fun and easy tooth fairy craft made from jeans pockets, and I’m ready to go.
Karma Wilson’s Bear series is a huge hit with our patrons (and youth services staff), so I was thrilled to find a book in which bear loses a tooth! Bear is rather anxious about his loose tooth, but his pals reassure him that everything will be fine–and that they should try, one by one, to yank the tooth. Thankfully, all ends well, and the tooth fairy stops by to leave blueberries. The Bear books are so much fun to use in story time; your audience will no doubt chime in each time you chant, “Bear’s loose tooth!”
Amina has high hopes that her tooth will fall out while she’s visiting relatives in Mali. To her delight, it loosens while she is brushing her teeth. Amina is so excited, because this means that the tooth fairy will bring a chicken! Although it’s a bit longer than the other books in this post, children will be intrigued by the African setting and Amina’s joy over her chickens.
After taking a big bite of her apple, Tabitha’s tooth begins to wobble. Will dancing wiggle it loose? Tying a string around it and tying the other end to her pet tortoise? Nope! She tries many other ways to jiggle that stubborn tooth, until something quite natural makes her tooth pop out. The clean and bold illustrations matched with the energetic yet economical text makes this a great read for very young children.
This isn’t a book that you would read aloud from cover to cover, for it consists of short statements from children around the world about their culture’s traditions regarding loose teeth. Children and adults who are only familiar with the tooth fairy tradition will be amused to learn that a tooth-seeking mouse or rat visits children in many European, Hispanic, and Asian countries, and that the tooth is not always placed underneath a pillow. I’m planning to choose a sampling of traditions from various countries to read aloud and discuss.
I get such a kick out of this book. It’s a perfect segue from Throw Your Tooth on the Roof, for it combines the tradition of the tooth mouse found in Mexico and the tooth fairy found in the United States. On the night that Miguelito places his tooth under his pillow, two characters come to claim the tooth: El Raton Perez, who has claimed the teeth of Miguelito’s parents and grandparents, and The Tooth Fairy, who collects American children’s teeth. Who should claim the tooth? After much disagreement, the two manage to come up with a workable solution. This is a funny and charming story about two diverse traditions.
Have I missed your favorite tooth fairy/loosing teeth book? Let me know in the comments section!