Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: Tooth by Tooth - Comparing Fangs, Tusks and Chompers, by Sara Levine, illustrated by T.S....Spookytooth?

My teeth are not my favorite body part. Thanks to inheriting poor enamel to begin with, probably not helped by two years of who-knows-what (not flouride!) in the water in Ukraine, I have helped pad the college fund of many a dentist's child. Just last week I had to get a molar pulled, and just as it was healing up, I bit into a pretzel stick and broke a huge chunk out of my front tooth. On a Sunday. With a field trip of Kinders scheduled first thing Monday morning. Sigh.

All to say, when I took this first book off my pile of goodies from Lerner, my first thought was, "Well, that looks familiar!"

Tooth by Tooth

Okay, my smile isn't quite that snaggledy, but since my kids have asked repeatedly to see the pulled molar (of course I saved it, why are you even asking?), I knew this would be a hit.

"What animal would you be if a few of your teeth grew so long that they stuck out of your mouth even when it was closed?"'d be a Shane.

"What would you be if your top canine teeth grew almost all the way down to your feet?"

Okay, Shane's aren't THAT long.

"This picture book will keep you guessing as you read about how your human teeth are like - and unlike - those of other animals."

This book is a great introduction to the different types of teeth mammals may have, and why. (Other types of animals are touched on at the end, but it mainly addresses mammals). Each two-page spread poses a question like those in the description, and answers it clearly and concisely. Accompanying illustrations are both clear and entertaining: a seal shows off his sharp canines while sporting a jaunty flowered headband, under a drawing of a dog skull. The horse on the next page, who is posed next to a drawing of a cow skull, has accessorized with a scarf and matching toboggan cap.

The text is set up perfectly for paired reading - while Sheridan could have read the entire thing, she enjoyed reading the larger print sentences with great gusto, while I read the smaller (only issue with the text - readers with dyslexia may find the curlier font difficult).

The terms herbivore, carnivore and omnivore are clearly explained, and I was VERY happy to see them call snakes venomous, rather than poisonous. I did not realize that anteaters do not have teeth, although that makes perfect sense - so, I learned something, too! There is a short bit at the end about how other mammals lose their 'baby' teeth too, especially of interest since many readers in this age group are losing teeth of their own. Christopher has lost three in the past week or so! (Baby teeth, fortunately - he is not following in his mother's footsteps so far!)

Solid book, great illustrations, definitely recommended for purchase.

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