Open Wide: Tooth School Inside

Open Wide: Tooth School Inside

by Laurie Keller

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From the author/illustrator of The Scrambled States of America, here is a fun-filled introduction to teeth.

"Before the principal's announcements, will you all please stand and recite our pledge: 'I pledge allegiance to this mouth and to the dentist who takes care of us. And to the gums on which we stand, strong and healthy, with toothbrushes and


From the author/illustrator of The Scrambled States of America, here is a fun-filled introduction to teeth.

"Before the principal's announcements, will you all please stand and recite our pledge: 'I pledge allegiance to this mouth and to the dentist who takes care of us. And to the gums on which we stand, strong and healthy, with toothbrushes and toothpaste for all.'"

It's time for tooth school and Dr. Flossman is excited to meet the incoming class of 32--eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and twelve molars, including the four wisdom teeth. There's just so much to learn--from brushing and flossing to dentin and pulp to every student's nightmare: tooth decay!

Best read with a toothbrush in hand, this hilarious book is full of interesting facts (for instance, George Washington's teeth were not made of wood, despite popular belief) and a classroom full of quirky characters. Young readers will laugh their way to a better appreciation for those pearly whites that beckon them to brush. And from there it's just a short hop to flossing.

This title has Common Core connections.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Entertaining and amusing.” —The New York Times

“A perfect gift for the dentist who has everything. Every waiting room (and library) needs a copy.” —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“Both kids and grown-ups who split their sides.” —School Library Journal

“Loaded with hilarious text, equally funny illustrations, and crazy side-comments and wise-cracks from assorted teeth, the net result is a book that clearly demonstrates that learning IS fun!” —Kendal Rautzhan, syndicated columnist

“A book to delight both kids and adults.” —Tricia Gardella, The Union Democrat

“Kids of all ages will love cavorting through the pages... Vibrantly illustrated and beautifully laid out.” —Kids Book Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dr. Flossman welcomes his 32 students--eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars and 12 molars--to class at the start of Keller's (The Scrambled States of America) disappointingly flat lesson on tooth care and trivia. While, in her first book, the states themselves delivered the facts in fun-filled chatty exchanges, here the teacher drills into his anthropomorphic pupils a smattering of tooth truths, including the physical composition of teeth, the function of primary teeth, causes of tooth decay and the importance of dental hygiene. The bulk of the narrative is silly filler (for instance, a funky-looking tooth fairy pays a visit to the school and complains that she sometimes almost suffocates trying to retrieve teeth from under pillows). The book's abundant puns and asides, many delivered by the teeth themselves, may elicit as many groans as giggles from readers. One of the standout spreads, the penultimate, highlights facts about teeth during the times of the Ancient Egyptians through to George Washington. Though the book's cluttered, quirky art is at its best in comical scenarios of ambulatory teeth in the cafeteria and at recess, the visual humor, like that of the narrative, lacks the incisive bite of Keller's earlier book. Ages 5-10. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly
Dr. Flossman welcomes his 32 students,-eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and 12 molars-to class. "Many of the book's abundant puns and asides are delivered by the teeth themselves," said PW. Ages 5-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Traditional book format and illustration have been tossed out the window, as Dr. Flossman greets his class of 32 teeth (eight incisors, four canines, etc.) at Tooth School. Mixed in with zany antics and nutty comments is a wealth of information here on teeth and their care, including the role of the dentist and orthodontist, some dental history, and a silly quiz. From the cover's helter-skelter design, child-like calligraphy, and really cartoon-y characters, one gets a preview of things to come. Even the end pages are filled with stuff of all kinds. As disconnected as text and pictures may seem at first glance, there is a definite cohesiveness to the story and a surprisingly effective delivery of information. The slapstick humor and almost shocking mixed-media visuals are sure-fire ways of getting and keeping the attention of youngsters. 2000, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 5 to 8, $16.95. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature
Laurie Keller's trademark is funny, nonfiction books with a sense of story. In her first book, The Scrambled States of America, disgruntled states swap positions. Now she delivers dental facts with inspired invention. The book is a perfect blend of double meanings, lots of information, witty words, well-designed illustrations, and a perspective that lets readers imagine life from a tooth's point of view. At the story's start, Dr. Flossman finds all his students are present—8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, 12 molars, and 4 wisdom teeth. Notice how Keller ingeniously sneaks in types and numbers of teeth? Children won't. They will be captured from Keller's pledge of allegiance to this mouth and to the dentist who takes care of us to the silly multiple choice quiz at the book's end. This book has humor that will make adults smile as Dr. Flossman, concerned about his student's deep fears, prepares them by teaching nine common reactions to cavities which include depression, self-pity and denial. The many details and wild layout require a close look for best humor results. Keller's success in humanizing the states was amazing; now her treatment of teeth will leave fans wondering what she will tackle and tickle next. 2000, Holt, $16.95. Ages 7 up. Reviewer: Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This wacky book about dental hygiene begins with Dr. Flossman teaching his class, a set of personified teeth sitting at their desks looking "clean" and "bright." After the pledge of allegiance "-to this mouth and to the dentist who takes care of us," attendance is taken, and each tooth is named and identified. The teacher lectures about the parts of a tooth, primary vs. permanent teeth, and even the Tooth Fairy. Then the class is divided into groups: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, for lunch. Following a lesson about tooth decay, reports on "teeth throughout history" are presented. Then the bell rings, signaling the end of the day. Students are advised to "rinse, gargle, and spit in a cup!-And don't forget to brush!" as they run haphazardly from the room. Two short-answer quizzes about the lesson are appended. The language and humor are somewhat sophisticated, but most youngsters will get a good laugh from a day in "Tooth School." The busy layout features lots of appealing color and animation rendered in acrylics, colored pencils, markers, and collage. Alice McGinty's Staying Healthy: Dental Care (Rosen, 1997) is a more straightforward and serious approach to the subject. For a truly painless, lighthearted look at the subject, open Open Wide and smile.-Elizabeth Maggio, Palos Verdes Library District, Rolling Hills Estates, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
Painless dentistry is lightened with a dose of laughing gas. Fans of Keller's wacky The Scrambled States of America (1999) will find this a fact-filled, sure-fire, kid-centric introduction to a familiar staple of the elementary school curriculum: dental health. Here, Keller's inspired conceit—a "tooth" school "class" presided over by the single-minded Dr. Flossman—offers almost endless opportunities for kid-pleasing puns and clever classroom asides. The book begins with roll call of the "incoming" students: thirty-two teeth (eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, twelve molars, and four wisdom). The "school" day then progresses through typical classroom routines: announcements ("GO CHOMPERS"), a lesson featuring a cross-section chart of a tooth, a student report on "Primary Teeth," an "informative" video on the Tooth Fairy, group process (incisors together please!), lunch (followed by brushing and flossing, of course), a lesson on tooth decay and cavities, and student reports on the history of dentistry. Check out the funny but fact-based multiple choice and True/False tests (Keller thoughtfully provides the answers). Dynamic book design mimics the untutored artwork of a particularly fun-loving and terribly talented ten-year-old. Keller employs a busy mix of stamp-pad art, ruled paper, notebook sheets, acrylics, colored pencil, crayon, marker drawings, and collage. Spiced with ample cartoony little asides (featuring appropriately costumed, fully ambulatory, and pleasingly smart-mouthed talking teeth), Keller's art delivers the "message" while entertaining, invitingclose studyand provoking belly laughs. A perfect gift for the dentist who has everything. Every waiting room (and library) needs a copy. (Picture book. 8-10)

Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.20(d)
AD360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Laurie Keller is the acclaimed author-illustrator of Do Unto Otters, Arnie, the Doughnut, and The Scrambled States of America, among numerous others. She grew up in Muskegon, Michigan, and always loved to draw, paint and write stories. She earned a B.F.A. at Kendall College of Art and Design, then worked at Hallmark as a greeting card illustrator for seven-and-a-half years, until one night she got an idea for a children's book. She quit her job, moved to New York City, and soon had published her first book. She loved living in New York, but she has now returned to her home state, where she lives in a little cottage in the woods on the shore of Lake Michigan.

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