Most helpful critical review
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This-Arthur-Is-a-Monkey - a review of "Arthur's Loose Tooth"
on December 6, 2006
This book is a "Reader" listed as being appropriate for First, Second and Third Graders. My own first grader could read this book but I know from being around other children this age that they wouldn't be able to read this. While the print is still large, and most pages don't have a lot of text; there are quite a few pages. In addition, there are words most youngsters wouldn't know. I would include in that category, words like: Saturday, doctor, bandage, headache, captain, muscles, and fearless.
As far as the story is concerned, I think most children in this age group would like the the topic. Kids are just interested in tooth loss.
For myself, I really didn't care too much for some of the elements in the book. For one thing, dad has a pipe stand, and making smoking acceptable in any form, isn't something we applaud. In addition, the baby sitter is a little mean - perhaps she is a family member (lol). At one point, she tells the children that they are giving her a headache;, and at another point, she tells Arthur that he shouldn't make such a fuss just because he falls down, cuts his lip and is bleeding. (If you can't cry when you are bleeding, when can you?)
Oh yes, and before I forget, Arthur loses his loose tooth by wrapping a string around it and attaching the other end to a door knob. (Classic stuff and I guess I don't object, but I thought you should know just in case you do.)
Now lest you think it's all bad stuff I have to report, let me say that what the book does well is discuss how different people are afraid of different things. In this case, Violet (Arthur's sister) is afraid of the dark, while Arthur is afraid of blood. And the one good point that the baby sitter makes, is that real bravery is doing things you are afraid of doing: like going outside in the dark to do a chore.
Three Stars. Artwork is okay but not special. Good Read-aloud. The story has some pro's and con's, but overall I believe most children will like the subject. We read it, but wouldn't buy it as there are other books that deal with teeth that don't have pipe stands ;-)