Laura's Loose Tooth
by Michelle (Petreman) Nickel and Gwen Petreman 
Trafford Publishing

"I wiggled and jiggled and pulled on that tooth
But it would not come out, I'm telling the truth!"

The subject of Nickel and Petreman's collaborative effort is fairly straightforward. Laura's tooth is loose and she is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Tooth Fairy. After contemplating how she'll spend the coins she expects to receive, Laura endeavors to speed up the process by enlisting her sister in some traditional tooth yanking methods. These fail to yield the desired results but it isn't long before the gleaming baby tooth loses out to a corn cob and Laura gets her wish. However the wait has an unexpected effect on Laura and upon receiving her prized coins she comes to a generous and heartfelt conclusion: She will donate her money to those less fortunate because she is blessed enough already.

The story itself is told in metered rhyme, occasionally stumbling in its phrases for the sake of continuity. However the sing-song rhythm is familiar and serves to emphasize the uplifting message the authors strive to impart. Using a universal childhood milestone to foster generosity and charity in its readers, the book succeeds for the most part although what exactly prompts Laura's change of heart remains elusive. The tale is accompanied by a series of well-staged photographs that do an excellent job of illustrating the text. A list of dental hygiene tips follows the main story and includes advice for the care of a loose tooth. In addition to these are a series of fascinating dental facts that contain curious trivia on animal as well as human teeth."A squirrel's teeth never stop growing! Its incisors can grow 15 centimeters in one year!" These well placed extras reinforce sensible habits and offer some unusual details that are certain to be shared among children and adults alike.

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