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Doctor De Soto (MacMillan Young Listeners) Paperback – Unabridged, January 4, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Doctor De Soto is a well-respected mouse-dentist who runs a successful practice with his wife (and able assistant) Mrs. De Soto. The De Sotos are friendly and professional toward all their patients, from chipmunks to donkeys to cows, the exception being "cats and other dangerous animals," as stated clearly on the sign outside the office. But the De Sotos are tender-hearted rodents, so when a miserable fox shows up begging for treatment, they agree to have a look (perhaps against their better judgment). As it turns out, this fox, with "a rotten bicuspid and unusually bad breath," manages to behave himself while tiny Doctor De Soto is standing mid-molar inside his gaping jaws. When the wily fox returns the next day to get his replacement gold tooth, however, he has mouse-flavored snacks on his mind. Luckily, Doctor De Soto and his wife have anticipated such despicable canine intentions, and find a way to outfox the ungrateful fox.

William Steig, award-winning creator of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, once again offers young readers a clever, amusing tale of interspecies mingling. As usual, Steig's tone is matter-of-fact, and his enchanting illustrations of the responsible mouse couple and their foxy adversary are alive with expression and emotion. Kids will appreciate the De Sotos' wit, and will be delighted to read more about this diminutive couple's adventures in Doctor De Soto Goes to Africa. (Ages 4 to 8) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

A somewhat unusual--and ravenous--patient is outfoxed by the resourceful mouse-dentist in this sly tale of mischief. Ages 3-up.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Series: MacMillan Young Listeners
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners; Pap/Com Un edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427211183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427211187
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

William Steig (1907-2003) published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, and received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (978-1416902065) in 1970. His works also include The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book, and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. His most recent books published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux are Shrek! (released by DreamWorks as a major motion picture) and Wizzil, illustrated by Quentin Blake. School Library Journal named Shrek! a Best Book of 1990 and said of it, "Steig's inimitable wit and artistic dash have never been sharper or more expertly blended."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
On Friday afternoon, I was talking to my younger sister at a Denny's restaurant, when, out of nowhere, the storyline image of this book came into mind. I am currently seventeen years old, and even though it was more than ten years ago, I was still able to vividly recall to my sister (who is thirteen) all of the wonderful images of the fox, donkey, and alligator that I had enjoyed so long ago. She also began remembering different parts of the book since I had shared it with her when we were younger, and we excitedly spoke about the clever dentist and his antics.
This is one book that has stuck out in my mind as a childhood favorite (even though I still am somewhat of a kid) and I'm sure your child will come to love and cherish this book as well.
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Format: Paperback
I've given it as a present several times.

William Steig's books are very funny both to adults and children, which is an amazing accomplishment if you think about it.

The story involves a mouse dentist, Dr. DeSoto, who has a fox present himself for dental work. Normally Dr. DeSoto doesn't work on carnivorous patients, but he feels sorry for the fox, who has a toothache. Even while Dr. DeSoto is fixing the fox's tooth, however, the fox is thinking about what a tasty treat his dentist will be.

The humor lies in William Steig's use of language -- he is well known for not talking down to children, but slipping in some wonderful "big words" that children love to hear and that increase their vocabularies painlessly.

I can't imagine anyone not finding this book entertaining. William Steig will be greatly missed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. DeSoto, a mouse, has a standing policy of never treating predators at his dental practice. One day, a fox appears and pleads for help, weeping so that Dr. and Mrs. DeSoto take pity on him and agree to replace his abscessed tooth. While helping him they realize he intends to eat them after his treatment is finished, and they devise a clever way to outwit him while still finishing the job.

The story is satisfying on many levels. It builds on the principle of Aesop's fable of the crane and the wolf, showing that evil people will return evil for good. But the dentist and his wife demonstrate wisdom in doing good for this evil character, refusing to go back on their commitment yet not denying their real danger. In working together, this husband and wife team demonstrate courage, unity, and mutual care, exemplifying the kind of marriage I want to be defined as normal for my children.

Steig tells the story in an understated way, with effective dialogue and gentle humor. Children will wait anxiously to find out how the two mice will resolve their problem, and will greatly enjoy the fox's discomfiture when he is defeated. This is an excellent early-reader story about how to deal with evil in the everyday world.
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Format: Paperback
We stumbled onto our copy of Doctor DeSoto in the bargain bin of our local thrift store. It's about the best dime I've ever spent.

My daughter (3.5 years old) loves this book. For weeks it's been her favorite, she just can't get enough. She now insists that we call her Dr. De Soto, which may suggest some deeper pathology, but nonetheless is quite a hearty vote for the appeal of this book to young children.

The great thing is that, like many of Steig's books, it's a pleasure to read too. His animals are so fun, so lively, and capture the essence of their human counterparts so effectively.

Steig has an indescribably fantastic way with words. The fox doesn't just wonder if he should eat the De Sotos, he wonders if it would "be shabby of him."

After reading this book, we researched Steig and ordered a whole slew of his books. After all, if you enjoy what you're reading to your kids, you will read to them all the more. This book is one you can't go wrong with.
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By A Customer on December 14, 1997
Format: Paperback
I'm 10 now but still enjoy all of Steig's books. I read them still, in bed. This is a very funny and witty book, and I think all young children should read it. Dr.DeSoto is a nice character,as all of Steig's are. I recomend this book to anyone looking for some laughs.
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Format: Paperback
We read this to my daughter before her first visit to the dentist. I thought it did a good job of preparing her for what to expect at the dentist. At the same time, it's a funny book- for everyone! Also, if you think about it, it's the dentist who's scared- not the patient, so it helps to allay a child's fears about the dentist. Great book!
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Format: Paperback
Who do you go to when you have a sore tooth? Why Doctor De Soto, of course. If you haven't heard of him, he's the famed dentist who will take care of all your dentistry needs. Did I mention he is a mouse.

One day, Doctor Desoto comes in contact with a patient he is unsure of-a well-dressed fox with an aching tooth. Well after a small debate with his wife and assistant, Mrs. De Soto, our hero decides to treat the poor Fox. But will the seemingly friendly Fox eat Doctor De Soto?

Steig has done it once more with this book, a runner-up for the Newbery Medal. As one of the reviewers pointed out, there IS some blood shown, but to tell you the truth, I didn't even notice. Besides, pop culture has already given little ones a preconceived image of what a trip to the dentist's is like. A picture book not to be overlooked. William Steig will not be forgotten.

R
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