The Tooth Fairy Wars, written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Jake Parker, is a lot of fun. It's about a boy who starts to lose his baby teeth, and wants to keep them (instead of handing them over to the Tooth Fairy). He tries hiding his teeth, but it turns out that the Tooth Fairy is quite a persistent little fairy, and she keeps finding them. Eventually, the battle of wills between Nathan and the Tooth Fairy soon escalates into all-out war.
I found Nathan's efforts to hide his teeth from the Tooth Fairy to be creative and entertaining. He advances from "a fort guarded by army men" to a tarantula cage, covered with itching powder, with the tooth disguised as a rock.
I also enjoyed the increasingly hostile correspondence between Nathan and the Tooth Fairy, particularly the Tooth Fairy's use of bureaucratic jargon to defend her position. At one point she tells him that he can have a hearing in "25,990 years". (Parents will especially relate to this aspect of the book).
Finally, I like that Nathan solves his own problem in this book. He complains to his mom a couple of times, and she makes quite hands-off suggestions, like: "I guess you'll have to hide the next one better." When (this can't be too much of a spoiler), Nathan succeeds in his quest, he is justly proud of his own efforts.
Parker's illustrations add considerably to the book's appeal. The "fort guarded by army men" is made out of tinker toys and books. Nathan's expressions range from scheming to angry, but he never looks like a victim. The Tooth Fairy has a surprisingly administrative look, with square glasses and a pinched mouth. Despite her wings, she looks rather like she is wearing a fairy version of a business suit. All of this complements the text perfectly. The inclusion of the various letters between Nathan and the Tooth Fairy, as well as signs that Nathan makes, lend further visual interest to the text.
I'm afraid that I found the cover of The Tooth Fairy Wars to be a bit unappealing. Something about the muted color scheme and the slight blurring of the boy's picture makes this book look old-fashioned to me (though I didn't have this problem with the interior). I wish that this book had more "pull it off the shelf to read it right away" appeal, because I do want kids to discover it. The Tooth Fairy Wars is laugh-out-loud funny. I very much look forward to introducing this book to my daughter. Recommended for home and library purchase.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (@SimonKids)
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the author
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