TABITHA'S TERRIFICALLY TOUGH TOOTH

Charlotte Middleton, Author, Charlotte Middleton, Illustrator . Penguin Putnam/Fogelman $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2583-6

Tabitha's stubborn tooth isn't merely dangling from her top of her mouth—it's literally cantilevered over her lower lip. Every attempt to coax it free fails, but just when it looks like the Tooth Fairy will be giving Tabitha's house a pass that night, the girl erupts with an explosive sneeze, and out pops the tooth. The payoff comes on the final page: a tiny tooth fairy alights on Tabitha's bed. British debut author/artist Middleton gives this oft-told story new life with full-bleed, mixed-media illustrations handsomely rendered in sapphire, russet and grassy green. Her cartoony style masks its own sophistication with childlike touches, e.g., the colors don't quite reach the penciled borders on her figures. She creates movement with gestural lines and via surprising views, as in a spread about Tabitha jumping on a trampoline, with the girl represented only by her toes as the rest of her flies out of range. By composing almost every one of the pictures along a single plane and virtually eliminating any background detail, Middleton accentuates Tabitha's appealing gangliness. And Tabitha's faithful sidekick, Henry, is a little jewel of cat—a plump, orange fellow whose deadpan expressions wittily embody feline solicitude. Ages 4-8. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/30/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-1-86233-267-6
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-86233-561-5
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-1-86233-172-3
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