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'Dear Tooth Fairy'    Send a link to a friend

[APRIL 7, 2004]  "Dear Tooth Fairy," by Pamela Duncan Edwards, illustrated by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, published by Katherine Tegen Books-an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ages 4-7

Review by Marlene Perry

"Dear Tooth Fairy" is one girl's story about that universal event which signals that a child is leaving babyhood behind. Six-year-old Claire writes her first letter to the Tooth Fairy, stating that she doesn't have "even one wobbly tooth yet" and she is worried about it. After a few more letters have been sent, Claire receives a reply, thanking her for writing and reassuring Claire not to worry. This begins the sweet relationship between innocent little Claire and her "Tooth Fairy."

Claire's letters continue to express her No. 1 concern, but she also begins to share her daily life in this exchange of letters. Readers learn what events consume young Claire's life (and most other 6-year-olds): her best friend, Amanda; Jimmy Clarke, the annoying bragger on the playground; an upcoming birthday party; and planning her costume for Halloween. Claire's Tooth Fairy responds with gentle advice about being patient, taking good care of her teeth and how Claire can make it easier for the Tooth Fairy to locate a lost tooth under her pillow.

Of course the story progresses with Claire discovering that finally one of her teeth is loose, followed by the inevitable long (to a child) wait for the tooth to fall out. "Do you think it's ever going to come out?" she writes. But before the Tooth Fairy can reply, Claire writes back in typical childhood fashion: "Don't bother to read my last letter because my wobbly tooth came out today!"


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Dear Tooth FairyAs Claire writes once more to thank the Tooth Fairy for the dollar she left, readers can feel assured that this friendship and exchange of letters will continue, when Claire says, "I don't want to rush you, but when do you think I'll get my next wobbly tooth?"

Your child will probably love hearing about Claire's tooth dilemma. Loosing that first baby tooth is understood to be a tangible sign of leaving babyhood behind and getting on with growing up, which so many children (but not necessarily their parents) are impatient to do. "Dear Tooth Fairy" explains to children that the age they will loose a tooth and how long the process will take is different for everyone.

Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick's watercolor illustrations will also be reassuring to children. They are colorful and contemporary in content but still convey that soft, "magical fairy" quality of the story.

To check out this book and others, visit the Lincoln Public Library at 725 Pekin St. or call (217) 732-5732.

[Marlene Perry, Lincoln Public Library District]

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