Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World

Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World

by Selby B. Beeler, G. Brian Karas, G. Brian Karas
     
 

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What do you do when you lose a tooth? Do you put it under your pillow and wait for the tooth fairy? Not if you live in Botswana! In Botswana kids throw their teeth onto the roof. In Afghanistan they drop their teeth down mouse holes, and in Egypt they fling their teeth at the sun! Travel around the world and discover the surprising things children do when they lose

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Overview

What do you do when you lose a tooth? Do you put it under your pillow and wait for the tooth fairy? Not if you live in Botswana! In Botswana kids throw their teeth onto the roof. In Afghanistan they drop their teeth down mouse holes, and in Egypt they fling their teeth at the sun! Travel around the world and discover the surprising things children do when they lose a tooth.

Selby Beeler spent years collecting fascinating traditions from every corner of the globe for this whimsical book, and illustrator G. Brian Karas adds to the fun, filling every page with humor and detail. He perfectly captures the excitement and pride that children experience when a tooth falls out.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In Beeler's first book, children from familiar and remote countries on each continent explain what they do when they lose a tooth. The Tooth Fairy surfaces on several occasions; but for kids from a number of countries, she's replaced by a mouse, a squirrel or another critter. In other traditions, parents fashion jewelry from baby teeth, children wrap a tooth in a piece of food and feed it to an animal or throw their teeth on the roof. Since Beeler organizes her material by geographic region, some spreads featuring similar traditions of neighboring countries become redundant (e.g., Colombia, "I put my tooth under my pillow and wait for a mouse called El Raton Miguelito to take my tooth and leave money in its place," followed by Venezuela, "I put my tooth under my pillow. While I am asleep, a mouse will take the tooth and bring me some coins"). But the variety of customs across the globe compensates for any occasional similarities. Karas's (The Windy Day) cheerful cartoon art shows round-faced kids--many proudly displaying a gap in their smiles--dressed in native garb and often standing near an example of their local architecture. This book will be an eye-opener for young Americans who may have assumed that the Tooth Fairy holds a worldwide visa. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature
Selby Beeler's book portrays how different countries around the world celebrate children losing their teeth. The book gives an illustration and text for each picture. Tooth traditions vary, from the tooth fairy to making jewelry out of the teeth children lose. People in some countries even have a dance to make sure their teeth come in straight. Readers will get a great lesson on diversity as well as dental awareness by reading this book. It is a fine book to read to children who are at the age of losing teeth, and opens the door to learning about diversity by giving examples of unique traditions. For instance, in one illustration in Chile, a little girl stands with a charm around her neck to indicate the making of jewelry from lost teeth. In creating awareness about dental health, Beeler and Karas show a different aspect on teeth with which many readers may not be familiar. I love this book because it incorporates many themes and traditions that diverge from the everyday themes used in dental awareness and diversity books. 2001 (orig. 1998), Houghton Mifflin,
— Lindsay Myers <%ISBN%>0618152385
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This book describes a variety of rituals for the numerous occasions (usually 20) on which a child loses baby teeth. About a half-dozen countries in a broad geographic region are covered on each two-page spread. For each nation, an appealing youngster dressed in native attire provides one- or two-sentence summaries of local tooth customs. Other than in Germany (an alpine lass perfunctorily states, "I don't do anything special with my tooth") or Lithuania ("I keep my tooth as a keepsake"), children usually reap some benefit from their natural loss-fiscal and/or psychological. Proper baby-tooth disposal ensures a new, healthy, straight tooth and possible money or candy, good luck, health, or even a desirable career. Beliefs presented include the Anglo North American Tooth Fairy tradition; the Central and South American mythologies about El Raton (the mouse); contracts with chickens, the sun, "Mr. Moon," rats, or mice in Africa; and Eurasian exchanges with mice, crows, or squirrels. Also, some folks end up with tooth jewelry. A world map helps with the geography and a couple of appended dental diagrams give youngsters a simple oral overview. In the author's note, Beeler reveals her research techniques, which included everything from interviews on the street to worldwide correspondence. A fun comparative study for the tooth-losing crowd.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX
Kirkus Reviews
The demands on the tooth fairy are almost as strenuous as those on Santa, but she has some help, because, as Beeler tells it, the customs about teeth vary around the world. In Spain, a mouse spirits molars away, while in Korea the tooth gets tossed up on the roof. An author's note explains how Beeler canvased friends and strangers for their tooth traditions, many of which are similar; there's no attempt to root out the anthropological origins of any of the customs, which makes this a better browsing book than a resource for reports. Karas's illustrations, including his map, are deliberately lighthearted and make people the world over look uniformly friendly. A charming debut. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)

From the Publisher

"If children think a visit from the Tooth Fairy is the only way to trade in baby teeth, they're in for a surprise. Beeler's funny and intriguing sampling of lost-tooth traditions from around the world shows that teeth are every bit as likely to end up down a mouse hole, in the stomach of a dog, or on the roof of a house, as they are under a pillow. . . . Lots and lots of fun." Booklist, ALA

"The demands of the Tooth Fairy are almost as strenuous as those of Santa, but she has some help, because, as Beeler tells it, the customs about teeth vary around the world. . . . A charming debut." Kirkus Reviews

"This book describes a variety of rituals for the numerous occasions on which a child loses baby teeth. About a half-dozen countries in a broad geographic region are covered on each two-page spread. For each nation, an appealing youngster dressed in native attire provides one- or two-sentence summaries of local tooth customs. . . . A world map helps with the geography and a couple of appended dental diagrams give youngsters a simple oral overview. . . . A fun comparative study for the tooth-losing crowd." School Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618152384
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
116,697
Product dimensions:
10.31(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Lexile:
AD770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Selby Beeler lives with her husband in Rochester, Minnesota. She first became interested in lost-tooth traditions in other countries when a friend from Brazil asked, "What's a Tooth Fairy?". Curious, Selby has been canvassing strangers ever since. This is her first book.

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