The Tooth written by Avi Slodovnick and Manon Gauthier is a new addition to the picture book market. It was Published September 1st, 2010 but was first released in Canada a year earlier. The story follows a young girl with a tooth ache on her journey to the dentist’s office. On her way she spots a homeless man on the street. “She wanted to take a closer look, but her mother held her hand tightly.” The dentist removes the little girls tooth and gives it to her in an envelop. As the little girl and her mother walk past the homeless man again, the little girl slips out of her mothers grip and give the homeless man her tooth so he can get the tooth fairy money.
I appreciate the plot of the story and love how it tries to portray empathy and charity. However I felt that the story was a bit too heavy and scattered. I wasn’t quite sure what the book was about until the very last page. I did enjoy the unique illustrations created with pencil and color pencil. The people were given distinct characteristics which matched the descriptive language well. It felt like the exaggerated features are what children might see when they remember faces. The illustrations also helped in understanding the story and what it means to be homeless. I think this might evoke interesting conversations out of children depending on their experiences with homeless people. However before introducing the book I would suggest discussing the issue and letting children know what the book is about . The publisher recommends this book for children ages 4-8
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon is a wonderful picture book about a young bat who becomes separated from her mother because of an owl attack. This young bat, Stellaluna, finds herself in a nest of birds. At first, she cannot help but have bat-like behaviors but she soon adapts to her new home and family and becomes accepted. She even becomes very good friends with the three little birds. One night, by chance, Stellaluna is reunited with her real mother. Her mother teaches her how to behave like a bat again. However, she does not forget about her three little bird friends and takes them on a flying adventure at night!
This classic is a must have for all families. It can teach children to learn to adapt to new environments. This book also demonstrates acceptance of dissimilarities and variation. It shows how friends and even family will accept each other even if there are differences. Janell Cannon beautifully creates a story about a young bat growing up while teaching children a little science lesson on bats and birds.
Cannon’s illustrations in this book are wonderfully created through a mixture of acrylic paints and color pencils. Her artwork in this book really enhances the emotions of Stellaluna that are described through the text. The text and the illustrations work in conjunction with each other to really heighten the reader’s experience. The deep blue color that Cannon uses in the background of the pages really makes the characters in the book stand out. The realistic and colorful illustrations truly add to this humorous idea of a bat living with a family of birds. The cover of the book is of Stellaluna trying to hang on to the tree branch like a bird with a confused look on her face. This picture will surely capture the reader’s eye because of the peculiar situation. In the end of the book, there are two pages filled with different facts about bats for those readers that are just fascinated with the behaviors and characteristics of bats.
This book is recommended for children ages 4 to 8 years old. This book can be a read aloud for younger children or older children can read this book by themselves. Whether it is being read out loud or read independently this book with surely be loved by all children and adults!