This finely rendered fable introduces readers to the Tooth Mouse, France?s version of the tooth fairy, and to Sophie, a sweet young mouse who must prove she is brave, honest and wise enough to take over this important job.
This finely rendered fable introduces readers to the Tooth Mouse, France’s version of the tooth fairy, and to Sophie, a sweet young mouse who must prove she is brave, honest and wise enough to take over this important job.
…humorous escapades make an already charming fable even more enjoyable, especially as illustrated by the talented Nadeau in a lovely palette of muted celadon and rose.
Like Katharine Holabird’s Angelina Ballerina, this effervescent story from Hood (the Pup and Hound series) stars a dainty, ballet-loving mouse, but Sophie’s life is a little edgier than Angelina’s. She has no parents, makes her home “atop an ancient cathedral in France,” and prefers not to go to bed. Her interest is piqued when the black-caped, no-nonsense Tooth Mouse (the French version of the Tooth Fairy) announces her retirement after years of “dodging cats, collecting coins and delivering the money to children in exchange for their baby teeth.” The Tooth Mouse runs three separate trials, like the labors of Hercules; any mouse who wants her job must obtain a cat’s whisker, come by a silver coin honestly, and suggest a plan for the thousands of teeth she’s collected. Sophie’s ballet skills come in handy, but her courage and intelligence win the day. Hood’s confiding tone and French asides are part of the book’s charm, while Nadeau’s (Cinnamon Baby) ink-and-watercolor paintings, with their delicate tracery and moody pink and gray washes, temper the story’s frilliness with just a hint of dark humor. Ages 3–7. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Aug.)
- Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In France, the teeth that little children lose are picked up by the Tooth Mouse. In a cathedral in France, a small mouse named Sophie is surprised at a meeting to see the old Tooth Mouse, dodger of cats and collector of teeth in exchange for money, announce it is time for her to retire and name her successor. Sophie longs for the job. But first she must, like all applicants, perform the traditional three tasks. Sophie completes the first two, but is still considered too little. For the third, the Tooth Mouse leads them, including Sophie, under the cathedral where there is a list of the thousands of children who will lose teeth just in the next three days and asks what to do with all those teeth. How charming Sophie solves the problem to become the new Tooth Mouse makes for a delightful end to this original fable told with a spicing of French. Decorative pencil drawings of the stylized mice in impressive buildings enlivened with transparent touches of watercolors tell a visually delicate tale. Hundreds of white teeth on the end pages emphasize the theme while listing tooth traditions from around the world.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The opening sentence-"In many countries across the world, there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy. Instead there is… the Tooth Mouse"- introduces children to this delightful story with beaucoup nods to the French language. When she cannot sleep, Sophie, a young and playful mouse, dances into the great hall of a cathedral only to join an audience with the revered Tooth Mouse. Old and tired, the Mouse announces that she will soon be giving up her job and proposes a threefold test to determine who her successor will be. The competing mice must prove their bravery, honesty, and, finally, their wisdom by explaining how they would use all of the lost teeth they collected. Children will enjoy the expressions on the faces of the mice and thwarted cats in the delicate pencil and watercolor illustrations. Almost every spread contains a French word or term, such as "Mais oui" or "Voilà," giving the book a dreamy feel. As these words are used in context and very often translated as part of the narrative, children should have no problem understanding them. Little girls especially will appreciate Sophie, a plucky, sure, and determined little mouse whose solution to the final task is a lovely example of youthful ingenuity.—Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, IL
In this beautifully executed title with a fairy-tale feel, an irrepressible mouseling named Sophie is determined to prove she should become the next Tooth Mouse. Some cultures have a tooth fairy; France has the Tooth Mouse. The current esteemed rodent is about to retire and announces a search for her replacement. Shrewdly elegant in all black with spectacles resting on her pronounced nose, she issues to the throngs of ambitious mice a series of three challenges: "bring … the whisker of a cat," obtain "a silver coin by honest means," and propose a plan for the countless baby teeth that are collected each day. Sophie proves brave and honest but struggles with her final task. That night she dreams of teeth: "Shiny teeth, tiny teeth. Munching teeth, crunching teeth. Chewing, chattering, gnawing, guffawing teeth!" When she wakes, she has an answer that is simple yet wise. Hood masterfully spins her story with lush language sprinkled with some French (which further impresses when read aloud). Nadeau dresses the fable in soft watercolor-and-pencil illustrations done in sage greens and dusty pinks. Readers will pore over the exquisitely drawn details on each page, from the vignettes highlighting the plucky competitors to the multitude of unique teeth that populate Sophie's dream. With a nod to classic titles of years past, this provides a fresh, modern take on an itty-bitty heroine's achievement of her seemingly impossible goal. (Picture book. 4-8)
Susan Hood is the author of more than 200 children's books, including several other Pup and Hound titles for Kids Can Press. She was most recently the Children's Content Director for Nick Jr. Magazine. Susan lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Janice Nadeau studied graphic design and illustration at the Université du Québec ? Montréal and at the ?cole supérieure des arts décoratifs de Strasbourg (France). She likes to explore different applications of her medium, whether it's illustrating books or designing textile. Janice is a three-time recipient of the Governor General's Award for Illustration, Canada's most prestigious literary prize.