Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Where Do Our Baby Teeth Go?

Where Do Our Baby Teeth Go?
Tooth Stories from Around the World
by Vilasinee Bunnag
illustrated by Yasmin Doctor

With the resident first-grader losing teeth left and right, back-to-back, teeth have been in the limelight for the last few months.

He does not want to leave the baby teeth under the pillow for the tooth fairy as is the custom around these parts. He did write a note to that effect, in polite words, to the tooth fairy, so (s)he won't be disappointed.

He intends to collect all his baby teeth in a jar and keep them for future research.

Which got us thinking about this tradition of leaving the fallen baby tooth for the tooth fairy. And made us wonder what other such traditions are there related to baby teeth.

What do kids in other parts of the world do when their baby teeth fall out?

Just to answer such a question, this book presents tooth stories from around the world as the subtitle states.

The book starts out by asking 'Have you lost a tooth yet?' And explains a few facts about the 20 baby teeth, including the term "Diphyodont". Then, we embark on a journey around the world to learn about different traditions surrounding baby teeth. A map of the word shows the places we are visiting.

Starting in New York City, where of course the Tooth Fairy has the honors, we move to Mexico where Señor Raton scurries it away. In Brazil, Saint John takes care of it, while in South Korea kids get to throw it up in the air where a magpie catches it and brings a new strong tooth. We learn close to a dozen such traditions in different countries.

And since it's all about each child's own tooth story, the book ends with an invitation: "What's your tooth story?" and offers a Baby Teeth Diagram showing the placement of the mighty twenty.

The illustrations are bright and colorful. Two things that thrilled the resident seven year old: flag of each country tucked away in the illustrations, and peppering of words from other languages. He was chirping the Zulu greeting of "Sawubona"  and  the Swedish "Välkommen till Sverige".

Little nuances kept him interested - like, the drums on Nigeria page with their names "djembe" and "shekere", as well as factoids like "Dentists were working on smiles in Egypt as early as 3000 BC" and "China is a land of inventions. Fireworks and bristle toothbrush were invented there over 500 years ago."

While the concept is lovely, the only thing I would've preferred to be different is the font and color of the text - especially the white text on a darker background, and the all caps font made it difficult to read.

[Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book. The opinions shared here are my own. The images shared here are from the review copy sent to me.]

1 comment:

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