August 22 – National Tooth Fairy Day

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About the Holiday

Today’s holiday celebrates the mythical (shhhh!) fun of the Tooth Fairy. When a child loses a tooth, they put it under their pillow and that night the Tooth Fairy comes, takes the tooth, and leaves money. What the sprite does with the teeth is a mystery and many theories abound. The mystery of how the whole thing got started is explained here! I had never heard this story, so was excited to find it in my research!

In 1927 Esther Watkins Arnold wrote an eight-page play called The Tooth Fairy. In the same year none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle claimed that fairies and gnomes were real and by proof published pictures of two girls surrounded by “verified” fairies. In 1928 schools began performing Esther Arnold’s play, and kids took it to heart, leaving their teeth under their pillows. The rest of the story is, as Sherlock Holmes would say, “Elementary!”

Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO

Written by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli | Illustrated by Federico Fabiani

 

Tallulah the tooth fairy loves her work so much that she was inspired to start her own company—Teeth Titans Incorporated, which is “the largest tooth-collection organization on the planet.” As the company’s CEO, Tallulah feels many demands on her time, but she handles them by reminding herself of what she calls “the three Ps: her passion, her purpose, and what pays.” Her week is divided into time for herself (coffee or tea and a workout on Mondays, therapy on Wednesdays, “yoga, Pilates, and errands” on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and museum visits on Fridays) and work-related tasks like training new tooth fairies for all of those world-wide collection duties.

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Image copyright Federico Fabiano, 2019, text copyright Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, 2019. Courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

She tells her story on late-night talk shows and scouts for talent at glitzy recruitment events. In addition to all of this, she completes her nightly rounds. “Sure, she could afford to sit around counting teeth and money, but nothing gives Tallulah quite the same thrill as sliding a shiny tooth out from under a child’s pillow and inserting something gleaming and jingly or crisp and easily folded in exchange.”

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Image copyright Federico Fabiano, 2019, text copyright Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, 2019. Courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

Usually, things go as planned, but one night, at Tallulah’s last stop, instead of a tooth under young Ballard Burchell’s pillow, she pulled out a note. She was a bit disappointed to find the typical picture of a tooth fairy drawn at the bottom, but she continued reading and learned that Ballard had well and truly lost his tooth and had nothing to give her. He hoped she would understand.

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Image copyright Federico Fabiano, 2019, text copyright Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, 2019. Courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

This conundrum was a first for Tallulah. She consulted “her Teeth Titans Incorporated Employee Manual for reference,” but found no help there. “Though she’d written the manual herself, Tallulah hadn’t made provisions for such a rare occurrence.” There was only one thing to do. Tallulah quickly met with the seven members of her board of directors and asked for advice. Two members thought Ballard should learn a lesson in responsibility and get nothing. One thought partial payment was in order. Two more thought it was polite of Ballard to leave a note and to give the kid a break since everyone loses things now and again. And Tom, as the only male board member, wanted to talk about diversity on the board.

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Image copyright Federico Fabiano, 2019, text copyright Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, 2019. Courtesy of us.macmillan.com.

Later that night, with her decision made, Tallulah returned to Ballard’s room “to leave him a note of her own—and a little something extra.” In the morning Ballard discovered the note letting him off the hook this time for misplacing his tooth plus a “patented Teeth Titans Incorporated tooth compartment lanyard,” which usually “retails for $9.95” and is available on the company website, but is his as a gift. The note is even signed by The Tooth Fairy herself.

Ballard couldn’t believe it. He ran to show his mom, and then when he opened the little tooth box on the end of the lanyard, he discovered “one more surprise from Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO: the shiniest gold coin you ever did see.”

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Image copyright Federico Fabiano, 2019, text copyright Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, 2019. Courtesy of us.macmillan,com.

Dr. Tamara Pizzoli gives the tooth fairy a fresh, funny, and sophisticated update for today’s savvy kids. With wry, snappy descriptions of Tallulah’s life in and out of the office, Pizzoli riffs on the topics of self-care, home décor, the media, corporate culture, product placement, and even Mrs. Santa Clause (who finally gets a name—Charlene). Along the way, she shines a spotlight on stereotypes, celebrity, diversity, and kindness. Kids will love this take-charge tooth fairy who’s also not adverse to asking for help and taking advice. And who needs wings when there is rappelling gear and night goggles?

Federico Fabiani’s Tallulah, with her stunning purple-tinged afro, round glasses, and tooth-inspired fashions, is a confident, trend-setting leader with a single focus on excellence. Fabiani’s jazzy color palette lends eye-popping excitement to the illustrations that are stylishly modern with a retro feel. Kids will love finding all the clever references to teeth in Tallulah’s clothing, jewelry, and office and household items. Adults will appreciate with a laugh the nods to today’s culture from veganism to security details to media and social media.

A smart, funny book that goes far beyond its tooth fairy roots to offer opportunities to discuss diversity, social movements, and even empathy, Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO would be a favorite addition to home, classroom, and public libraries to share when teeth wiggle out or anytime. 

Ages 4 – 8 

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2019 | ISBN 978-0374309190

You can discover more about Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, her books, and her publishing house on The English Schoolhouse website.

To learn more about Federico Fabiani and see a portfolio of his art, visit his website.

National Tooth Fairy Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-Smile-for-the-tooth-fairy-mazeSmile for the Tooth Fairy! Maze

 

The Tooth Fairy is trying to collect a lost tooth! Can you help her find her way in this printable maze?

Smile for the Tooth Fairy! Maze | Smile for the Tooth Fairy! Maze Solution

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-tallulah-the-tooth-fairy-ceo-cover

You can find Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

May 23 – It’s National Smile Month and Interview with Erin Danielle Russell

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About the Holiday

First celebrated in Britain in 1977, this holiday has been embraced by other countries around the world. The aim of the holiday is to promote awareness of good oral health through teeth brushing and flossing, cutting down on sugary sweets, and seeing your dentist regularly. Healthy teeth lead to a bright smile, and smiles lead to feeling better and enjoying life more!

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy

Written by Erin Danielle Russell | Illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli

 

Kaylee seemed born to pull pranks. Her eyes sparkled with mischief, she knew how to creep up on people unawares, she was cute and smart, and April Fool’s Day was her favorite holiday. There was never a time when Kaylee wasn’t pulling or planning pranks. But there was actually someone else who was a bigger trickster than Kaylee—the Tooth Fairy.

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Image copyright Jennifer Hansen Rolli, 2018, text copyright Erin Danielle Russell, 2018. Courtesy of simonandschuster.com.

The Tooth Fairy, with her “smirky smile, fairy wings for a quick getaway”, and bag full of more tricks than teeth, was the reigning “prank princess.” But when the Tooth Fairy flew into Kaylee’s room to retrieve her tooth, she reached under the pillow and pulled out a… toy frog. There was only one thing for the Tooth Fairy to do—leave real frogs in her wake. For Kaylee, this meant “Game on!”

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Image copyright Jennifer Hansen Rolli, 2018, text copyright Erin Danielle Russell, 2018. Courtesy of simonandschuster.com.

To make amends, Kaylee baked up a berry (and hot sauce) pie and gave the Tooth Fairy a piece. With her mouth on fire, the Tooth Fairy retaliated with an a la ice cream mess. Kaylee grabbed the sprayer to wash off the whipped cream and sprinkles but “turned it on the Tooth Fairy” instead. A wave of the Tooth Fairy’s wand turned those water droplets into cats and dogs. The sudden downpour scared Kaylee, and she ran for the closet. The Tooth Fairy hadn’t meant to scare Kaylee so she went to find her. Kaylee was ready with a slingshot and a wad of gum.

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Image copyright Jennifer Hansen Rolli, 2018, text copyright Erin Danielle Russell, 2018. Courtesy of simonandschuster.com.

Things got sticky, and in the battle, the Tooth Fairy’s magic wand split apart. “And if you know anything about tooth fairies, you know a broken wand means… Topsy-Turvy Tooth Fairy Trouble!” Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy cowered under the table as swirling clouds and lightning sent everything in the kitchen flying. When things settle down, Kaylee looked at the Tooth Fairy and the Tooth Fairy looked at Kaylee.

“Kaylee had one more trick up her pajama sleeve.” She and the Tooth Fairy used the sprayer to clean up the floor and the bubble gun to fix the wand. They sent the cats and dogs soaring back into the sky with little umbrellas and the frogs hopping happily into the yard. Soon the kitchen was shiny and neat again, and Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy shared fairy-dust cookies as Kaylee handed over her lost tooth. That night was just the beginning for “two prank princesses and one new friendship.”

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Image copyright Jennifer Hansen Rolli, 2018, text copyright Erin Danielle Russell, 2018. Courtesy of simonandschuster.com.

Erin Danielle Russell’s talent for humor and creating feisty heroines is on full, fun display in her rollicking debut picture book. With her vivacious, conversational tone, Russell crafts the camaraderie of a sleepover even as the two pranksternistas try to outwit each other. After their tricks send them both ducking for cover, they discover that they’re kindred spirits and make perfect best friends.

From the glittery cover to the wild, action-packed pages, Jennifer Hansen Rolli conjures up delightfully designed trickery that will charm kids. Rolli sets the stage with examples of Kaylee’s early pranks on her sister and classmates (two of whom are appropriately wary of the chocolate sandwich cookies on offer, while an unsuspecting newcomer is all smiles). Rolli’s rich color pallet enhances the magical atmosphere,and images of a fully laden dessert table, puppies and kittens plummeting into the kitchen, and the Tooth Fairy stuck to the refrigerator with gum will make kids laugh out loud. While mischief is evident in both Kaylee’s and the Tooth Fairy’s eyes, it’s also clear that they understand and like each other, making their battle of wits a playful challenge.

Perfect for reading when a child has lost a tooth, How to Trick the Tooth Fairy is also an original friendship story for any time of year. Children will love keeping the book on hand for repeated readings when the Tooth Fairy is expected.

Ages 4 – 8

Aladdin, 2018 | ISBN 978-1481467322

Discover more about Erin Danielle Russell and her books on her How to Trick the Tooth Fairy website

To learn more about Jennifer Hansen Rolli, her books, and her art, visit her website.

This How to Trick the Tooth Fairy book trailer is sure to make smile!

Meet Erin Danielle Russell

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Erin Danielle Russell is the co-author of the New York Times best-selling Dork Diaries. How to Trick the Tooth Fairy is her first picture book. Today, I’m excited to talk with her about how How to Trick the Tooth Fairy came about, writing space, and her favorite pranks.

What inspired you to write How to Trick the Tooth Fairy?

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy is inspired by my childhood.  It’s a book I would’ve wanted to read as a child because I’d always wanted to meet the Tooth Fairy and become friends with her.  My character, Kaylee, is basically living my dream!

Can you talk a little about the journey to getting How to Trick the Tooth Fairy published?

Funny story, but the idea for How to Trick the Tooth Fairy came to me when was sick with the flu.  I was stuck in bed with nothing to do, so I wrote the first draft for fun in a notebook.  Later, I polished it, submitted it to my literary agent, found an amazing illustrator, named Jennifer Hansen Rolli, to bring my book to life, and the rest is history!

Losing that first tooth is such a rite of passage for kids, with celebrations at school and the fun surrounding the Tooth Fairy or other traditions at home. Do you remember losing your first tooth?

I do remember losing my first tooth and my first Tooth Fairy visit!  I was super excited to find money under my pillow where my tooth had been.  And, the best part was seeing the trail of glittery fairy dust across my bedroom floor!  It was solid evidence to me that the Tooth Fairy and magic were real, and I became a total Tooth Fairy fangirl after that!

Do you like to pull pranks? What was your favorite kind of prank?

I was a little prankster when I was Kaylee’s age, and owned a whoopee cushion, hand buzzer, invisible ink, and fake bugs. The whoopee cushion was my favorite!    

What’s the best part about being an author for young readers?

The best part about being an author for young readers is making them laugh and showing them that reading can be fun.  I’m a bookworm to this day because I fell in love with the picture books my parents read to me as a kid.  I hope I can inspire young readers to love books like I do.

What was your favorite picture book when you were a child?

There are so many wonderful picture books to choose from!  But, if I have to narrow it down to one, I’d say Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, because Harold could turn all his ideas into reality, and I wanted that ability too.  I even drew on my bedroom walls with a purple crayon to be like him, but that wasn’t such a good idea.  Lol!

Do you have a special place that you like to write? Can you describe it a little?

I’m not much of a desk person, so my favorite place to write is in my bed because it’s comfy and cozy.  I just prop up a few pillows, light a scented candle, and I’m in my happy writing place!

What’s up next for you?

I’m currently working on a second picture book and a middle grade book.  After writing How to Trick the Tooth Fairy, I’d love to write more fantasy.

What is your favorite holiday?

My favorite holiday is Christmas.  I love the festivities, music, food and how magical it was for me as a child. 

Do you have an anecdote from any holiday that you’d like to share?

Some of my favorite Christmas memories revolve around picture books.  I loved reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, and The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.  When I was eight, I even wrote and illustrated my own picture book in a spiral notebook about a girl, named Melody, who helped Santa Claus deliver Christmas presents all over the world on Christmas Eve.

Thanks so much for chatting! I wish you all the best with How to Trick the Tooth Fairy and all of your books!

You can connect with Erin Danielle Russell on

Official How to Trick the Tooth Fairy Website | Facebook | InstagramTwitter

National Smile Month Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-Smile-for-the-tooth-fairy-mazeSmile for the Tooth Fairy! Maze

 

The Tooth Fairy is trying to collect a lost tooth! Can you help her find her way in this printable maze?

Smile for the Tooth Fairy! Maze | Smile for the Tooth Fairy! Maze Solution

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-how-to-trick-the-tooth-fairy-cover

You can find How to Trick the Tooth Fairy at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Simon & Schuster

Picture Book Review