Lost Teeth: Two Books to Share

  • Bate, Lucy. Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth. Diane deGroat, Illustrator. New York: Scholastic, 1975.
  • Brown, Marc.  Arthur’s Tooth. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1985.

In case you haven’t noticed, the months of January and February have been brought to you by the letters A and B.  When I was browsing my shelves, I found these two books on the same subject by authors whose names begin with the letter B.  The young people in these books are concerned about their loose teeth!

In Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth, she doesn’t want to eat hard food, like carrots and beans.  They are after all too hard for a little rabbit with a loose tooth.  Dessert strawberries would be much better!  Mother Rabbit, as mothers do, has a better idea.  Little Rabbit can have the soft strawberries for dessert and can eat carrots and beans with her teeth that aren’t loose.  All week, Little Rabbit eats hard foods with her other teeth and soft foods with her loose tooth.  Finally, she loses it in Friday’s chocolate ice cream.  Read this book to find out all those unanswered questions you have about what to do with a loose tooth, what the tooth fairy might do with the teeth she collects, and most importantly what was the going rate for teeth in 1975.

I don’t know when I bought Arthur’s Tooth.  I know that Marc Brown was the featured author in my preschool classroom.  In this book, Arthur is the only one in his class that hasn’t lost a tooth.  It is embarrassing and is branding him a “baby” with his other classmates, especially the annoying Francine.  His tooth was loose and no amount of wiggling it was making it come out!  All his friends offer to help.  Buster brings him hard carrots to eat.  Brain invents a special (scary looking) tooth removing machine.  Finally, Binky Barnes offer to knock it out!  Finally, his Mom takes him to the dentist.  Dr. Sozio assures Arthur that nothing is wrong and the tooth will come out.  He admits to Arthur, that he didn’t lose his first tooth until after he was eight.  Read this book to find out when Arthur loses his tooth and who helps him.

The girls and I loved this book.  They worried about not losing their teeth as well.  Each of them lost their first tooth well after all their friends had lost theirs.  It was comforting to them to see someone else who was late losing teeth.  One of them had a particularly stubborn loose tooth.  Please don’t try this at home, but we tied a piece of dental floss to her tiny tooth and the other end to a door.  We slammed the door shut and that tooth came flying out! The girl was happy the tooth was out! The tooth fairy collected her tooth and left a quarter. I think our dentist was horrified when we told her what we did.  She said, “Don’t do that again!!!” Fortunately, all other loose teeth in our house came out in a timely way!

Lucy Bate

I couldn’t find much on this author online.  Here is the little bit I found. Lucy was born on the 19th day of March in 1939.  She is best known for her children’s books.  She was also a playwright.  Here is her website: www.lucybate.com.

Diane de Groat

Growing up in a time before DVDs, video games, or magic markers, Diane started her drawing with crayons and chalk.  Her driveway was her canvas.  She loved to watch the “Wonderful World of Disney”.  I remember that show!  Her favorite place in the classroom was the painting corner.  She also liked to draw Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.  She says, “Every time I illustrate a book, I am learning something new.”

Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth was the first picture book she illustrated.  She has illustrated many, many books for many different authors.  She wanted to illustrate her own books so she joined writer’s groups and took writing classes to learn more about this craft.  Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink was the first picture book she wrote and illustrated.

Read more about Diane on her website: www.dianedegroat.com

Marc Brown

He must have a wild and wonderous time in third grade.  Most of his characters are based on the people he knew at that time.  He says that his Arthur stories came from the bedtime stories that he told his son.  He says that children can relate to Arthur, because “he is dealing with the same issues that they’re dealing with in their lives.”¹

He graduated from the Cleveland Art Institute with a degree in painting.  Did he become a celebrated author right away?  No!  He had a series of other jobs before a story, told to his five-year old son about and aardvark who hated his nose, launched the Arthur series.¹

He credits his friend, Fred Rogers for making Arthur a TV program.  He claims that Mr. Rogers set a high standard for how to use television in useful ways for children and families.²

As I was reading about Marc Brown, I found that the first book he ever illustrated was for one of my other favorite authors, Isaac Asimov. I am going to have to find that book, What Makes the Sun Shine! I think this is so cool!  This is definitely a book I need to acquire for my collection.

You can visit these websites to find out more about this author.

¹www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/brown

²http://marcbrownstudios.com/marc

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