TOOT & PUDDLE: CHARMING OPAL

Holly Hobbie, Author . Little, Brown $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-36633-5

With its eye-catching and charming cover, this low-key tale of Puddle's diminutive cousin Opal will likely please fans of the titular duo's previous books. When Opal visits Toot and Puddle in Woodcock Pocket, she wants her wobbly tooth to "come out all by itself." While the affable threesome pick strawberries, play on the swing and go swimming, no one notices when the tooth is lost. In a series of spot illustrations, brave Toot finds the pearly white at the bottom of the pond so Opal can put it under her pillow. Fearing that the Tooth Fairy won't come to Woodcock Pocket, Puddle dresses the part so Opal won't be disappointed. But all three get a surprise at sunup. Hobbie's winsome and endearing pigs continue to please with their easygoing solutions to everyday problems. But more appealing than the simple plot are Hobbie's gentle watercolors, particularly Puddle in his Tooth Fairy costume, Toot in his flippers and diving mask, and Opal holding her nose as she plunges into Pocket Pond. The artwork exudes the sweet nostalgia and timeless quality that make Hobbie's oeuvre so appealing. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/21/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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