Third Grade Baby

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Overview

Polly Peterson knows that baby teeth are for babies like her little brother, Max. And yet she’s the only kid in her third grade class who hasn’t lost a single one. Her best friends, Oliver and Amelia, try to make her feel better, but it’s hard to be cheerful when Zachary, the new boy at school, starts calling her Babyteeth. As if that weren’t bad enough, Polly worries about what to do when she finally does lose a tooth. Can third graders leave teeth under their pillows? Or is ...

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Overview

Polly Peterson knows that baby teeth are for babies like her little brother, Max. And yet she’s the only kid in her third grade class who hasn’t lost a single one. Her best friends, Oliver and Amelia, try to make her feel better, but it’s hard to be cheerful when Zachary, the new boy at school, starts calling her Babyteeth. As if that weren’t bad enough, Polly worries about what to do when she finally does lose a tooth. Can third graders leave teeth under their pillows? Or is the tooth fairy also just for babies?

In this charming and funny book filled with exuberant illustrations, Polly learns that true growth isn’t measured by the teeth we lose, but rather by the friendships we gain.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“With occasional, cheerful, full-age black-and-white drawings, this debut effort gets the young grade-schooler's viewpoint just right, at school and at home.” —Booklist

“Eminently useful for classroom discussions (and perhaps dental units) and for readers looking for a slice of third-grade life.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Mixed in with the humor are very real issues middle-grade readers will recognize, of bullying and the constant need to measure up. The realization that the bully has issues if his own will reassure readers.” —Kirkus Reviews

“It’s a great choice for fans of Clementine, Judy Moody, or Junie B. Jones.”

Instructor Magazine

“A cheerful, black-and-white cartoon drawing appears in each chapter.”—School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Polly Peterson is starting third grade. Things are going pretty well, until Mr. Meyers has all of the class write how many teeth they have lost on their Science Tooth Chart on the board. The problem is that Polly hasn't lost any teeth. All of her classmates have lost at least four teeth. Because she hasn't lost any teeth (and a few other reasons), Zachary, a kid in Polly's class, teases her all the time. He frustrates her so much that not only do kids call her a "baby," but they also are waiting for her to provide a picture of the Tooth Fairy—a picture that Polly doesn't have. With clear sentences and a relevant plotline, younger elementary school-aged children will enjoy Polly's story and how she conquers her classmates' teasing. The text is also peppered with black and white illustrations. So readers who aren't quite ready for straight text will be pleased to see the pictures of Polly and her family and friends. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
School Library Journal

Gr 2-3

Polly's first day in third grade includes filling out a giant graph of how many baby teeth each student has lost. Polly is the only one who hasn't lost any, so Zachary, a new boy, teases her by calling her "Babyteeth." The next day, when she loses her tooth, she is hopeful that she's not too old for a visit from the tooth fairy. The first night, though, the tooth fairy forgets to come. Polly lies to Zachary that the tooth fairy brought a picture of herself. The second night, Polly takes a picture of the tooth fairy, who looks a lot like her mom. The girl has been observing that Zachary is alone at recess, and she befriends him. A cheerful, black-and-white cartoon drawing appears in each chapter. This ordinary story has some character development as Polly realizes that Zachary doesn't know how to socialize with her effectively.-Debbie S. Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
Polly Peterson is dealing with a new school year, a demanding, teething baby brother and a science project that lets everyone in the class, even the nasty new boy, know that she has not lost any baby teeth yet. Luckily she has two loyal friends, a loose tooth and understanding parents and teacher. However, when the tooth fairy forgets to come, Polly makes a hard situation worse by lying about it on the playground. The third-person limited narration puts readers into Polly's head as she immediately realizes saying the tooth fairy left her picture was a bad idea: "Polly's words made her mouth feel all gummy...Why didn't she just say a million dollars? That would be easier to get than a picture of the tooth fairy." Mixed in with the humor are very real issues middle-grade readers will recognize, of bullying and the constant need to measure up. The realization that the bully has issues of his own will reassure readers even as it helps Polly achieve a new maturity. Weber's fresh pencil illustrations add credibility to this school story. (Fiction. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374374822
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/2/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

JENNY MEYERHOFF, a former kindergarten teacher, lives in Riverwoods, Illinois. This is her first book. JILL WEBER has written and illustrated numerous books for children and adults. She lives on Frajil Farms in New Hampshire

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by JodiG. for Kids @ TeensReadToo.com

    Polly Peterson can't believe that she hasn't lost any teeth yet. She is the only kid in the third grade that still has all of her baby teeth. If that wasn't bad enough, Polly is also the shortest kid in the third grade. <BR/><BR/>It is only a matter of time before the new boy, Zachary, starts giving her a hard time and calls her Babyteeth. Polly is humiliated and does everything she can to help her tooth get loose and fall out. <BR/><BR/>Her parents don't understand. They hardly even know that Polly is there. Polly's baby brother, Max, is teething, and he cries constantly and uses up her parents time. <BR/><BR/>Once her first tooth does fall out, Polly thinks everything will work out. She can't wait for the tooth fairy to come and bring her something amazing. Something she can brag to her classmates about. Will it be money? Something better? <BR/><BR/>Only the tooth fairy doesn't come that night. Soon, Polly gets caught up in a huge lie that she told to cover up the fact that the tooth fairy forgot her. <BR/><BR/>THIRD GRADE BABY is a great story for any kid who feels that they just aren't like all the other kids in school or any kid who is tempted to exaggerate the truth. <BR/><BR/>One word of warning to parents...if your kiddo still believes in the tooth fairy, this may not be the book for them as her existence is challenged and accepted as false by most of the characters. Other than that, THIRD GRADE BABY was a fun book for the whole family to share (a parent, an emerging reader, and a listener).

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