A Very Full Morning

Eva Montanari, Author
Eva Montanari, Author . Houghton $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-56318-0
Reviewed on: 08/07/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
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Spare, patterned text, peculiar artistic perspectives and an odd-looking rabbit who isn't what she seems to be combine for one delightfully offbeat tale. Little Tooth, so named for the single tooth sitting front and center in her small mouth, is anxious about starting school. When the special day arrives, "Little Tooth chooses a dress from her closet full of clothes... walks along a path full of stones... comes to a yard full of bags" (pictured as backpacks) and finally enters a room "full of watching eyes." Despite her carrying a purse (instead of a backpack) with one extremely long pencil poking out, most youngters won't realize until the end that Little Tooth is actually the teacher. Montanari (Tiff, Taff, and Lulu ) tilts several scenes at 45-degree angles. In one spread, Little Tooth sits at a desk piled high with books, the topmost tomes tipping from a stack and falling across the book's gutter. The playful elongated views convey feelings of unease and wonderment, emotions familiar to neophyte students and teachers alike. Little Tooth's large ears function like an extra set of limbs (they hold toast at breakfast, for instance). Youngsters will relish this story full of fun while appreciating its comforting message: they are not the only ones wracked by nerves on the first day of school. Ages 4-8. (July)

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