Buster Gets Braces

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Poor Buster. Just weeks before this dinosaur's birthday, Dr. Orville (graduate of Cretaceous University) announces that ``Buster needs braces.'' His orthodontia also brings on jeers from his kid sister and, worse still, makes it impossible for the growing behemoth to consume his favorite foods. Though Zalben's ( Beni's First Chanukah ; Happy Passover, Rosie ) subject matter seems of dubious relevance to the picture-book set--who won't be needing braces for a few more years--her ingenuous, somewhat slight story possesses sufficient kid appeal to surmount this shortcoming. Enlivened by the engagingly childlike narration of Buster's sister Sally, the tale contains some comical touches that will be over little ones' heads--a vintage diner named Stanley's Rib Joint has an all-you-can-eat night; a drawing of Grandma's house resembles a monument at Stonehenge. Zalben's busy, pastel-hued illustrations make the most of the incongruities between the Stone Age and the age of rock: the sight of this prehistoric brood duded up in the latest funky togs will surely provoke giggles. A daffy dino family lightens a potentially problematic topic. Ages 4-7. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Shortly before Buster's birthday, he learns that he needs braces. His parents make all his favorite meals before the food restrictions begin; his sister, Sally, just teases him. After the fact, she torments him even more, blowing bubble-gum bubbles in his face and calling him ``Metal Mouth.'' Buster finally gets satisfaction when Sally has cavities from eating too many sweets. She suddenly knows how her brother feels and they call a truce. The characters are dinosaurs of a generic tyrannosaurus variety, but are fully dressed as humans, drive a classic convertible, and eat pasta and gourmet food. The illustrations de-emphasize the appearance of braces since few of the reptiles really close their mouths, and they all have serious overbites. The detailed and vivid watercolor and colored-pencil drawings are filled with visual jokes and dino paraphernalia. The motives of the story, however, are confusing. The negative aspects of braces--what the boy cannot do--are stressed, but they are raised by outsiders and not Buster himself. Nothing positive about the experience is ever addressed. --Nancy A. Gifford, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805016826
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/11/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years

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