Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Tooth Mouse

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Spike the Mixed-up Monster by Susan Hood.  (You can find that review HERE.) One of the special things about Spike the Mixed-Up Monsters is that it has Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text. Today, I am excited to be reviewing another of Susan Hood’s books. This one has French words sprinkled throughout the text.

The Tooth Mouse

Written by Susan Hood

Illustrated by Janice Nadeau

Kids Can Press 2012

Ages 3 and up

Themes: Tooth Fairy, Modern Fables

Synopsis: (from Goodreads) This finely rendered fable introduces readers to the Tooth Mouse, France’s version of the tooth fairy, and to Sophie, a sweet young mouse who must prove she is brave, honest and wise enough to take over this important job.

Opening: Once long ago, atop an ancient cathedral in France, there lived a small mouse who would NOT go to bed.
“Shush, chérie,: said the roosting dove. “It’s time to sleep.”
“But I’m not sleepy,” said Sophie. “I want to play Tooth Mouse. Cranky old cats can’t catch me. Watch this!” And Sophie executed a perfect pas de chat.
Then Sophie stopped. She heard a noise.
It started with a scribble-scrabble. Then a scuffle… then a scramble.
With a jump and a jeté, Sophie was away.
She followed the sound down… down…around…and around…
…until she found herself in the great hall of the cathedral, where a crowd of mice had assembled.

HERE is a link to review in the New York Times.

Resources: In the back of the book, there is a list of tooth traditions around the world. HERE a downloadable Tooth Tracker sheet that comes with the Tooth Mouse’s Tips for Tip-Top Teeth! from Susan Hood’s website. HERE is an online tooth mouse coloring page. It can be printed and colored, too. HERE  a unit named, Let’s Talk Teeth with several activities. HERE is a website for writing fables.

Why I Like This Book: Learning about the French version of the tooth fairy is a wonderful way to talk with children about different cultures at a young age. In this sweet story, little Sophie seems the most unlikely of all the candidates to be able to complete three difficult tasks to become the replacement for the old Tooth Mouse. Her bravery, honesty, and wisdom in completing the tasks make the reader root for Sophie to fulfill her desire and become the replacement for the old Tooth Mouse. The ending is especially endearing, but you will have to find that out for yourself. The French words sprinkled throughout give the book a special charm. The illustrations are beautiful and just perfect! The illustrator, Janice Nadeau, is a three-time recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Illustration, Canada’s most prestigious literary prize.

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.

37 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Tooth Mouse

  1. This sounds enchanting. I have a few tooth fairy books but none that I really love. I’m going to check this one out. Thank you!


  2. This book sounds delightful — and not only does it have French words, it seems to have ballet words, as well. Double win! Since I’ve been thinking about mice and the arts a lot lately (!) a mouse who jete’s away from a cat sounds perfect! And I’ve learned something today — I didn’t know about the tooth mouse tradition, either. (Already I’m envisioning making a tiny cloth mouse with a little pocket for a tooth…)


  3. This sounds great, Penny. It’s so interesting hearing how other cultures mark these things. Have you ever heard the David Sedaris piece about discovering that the French have, instead of an Easter bunny, an Easter bell? It is truly hilarious.


    • I haven’t ever heard of that. I love hearing about the traditions of different countries. One of my favorite things we did at the elementary where I taught was a Christmas Around the World. The students rotated from classroom to classroom and we each did a different country and a craft/ project to go with the country’s tradition….so fun!


  4. I just love this choice, Penny. And kids love to hear of different versions of the ‘tooth fairy’ from around the world! The opening is delightful!


    • I didn’t know it either until Susan Hood told me about her book and offered to have a copy sent to me. I was thrilled when it arrived. And it is a 2012 copyright, so hopefully you’ll run across it soon.


  5. I just read this book! I hadn’t known that MANY other cultures have a tooth mouse. One even has a tooth RAT. Yikes! It is a cute story. Would be great to use in the classroom to talk about fables and other cultures.


  6. Ahhh, this story sounds delightful, Penny! Now that you’ve teased us, I’ll have to get this book to find out the ending and I love books with beautiful illustrations. That is one of my must haves. Thanks for the recommendation.


  7. This sounds very cute! In some cultures I believe the tradition is to toss a lost baby tooth over the roof? No mouse or fairy required!


  8. Ooh I love how the English rhymes with the French. I’d love to sprinkle language in pbs. I’ve tried it. This sounds so cute too with that mouse.


    • I haven’t tried a different language because I only speak one. I do love the way Susan Hood sprinkles in the words. The context helps a lot and kids won’t be overwhelmed by too many unfamiliar words.


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