From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K—A young girl laments that her wiggly tooth will not fall out soon enough to enable her to collect tooth fairy money to buy a birthday gift for Papá. The rhyming story includes a mix of Spanish words within the English-language context—"I needed that tooth out/today, not mañana./But yanking? Too painful./I tried a manzana." The cheerful illustrations rendered in oil using a palette with shades of orange and rust show a delightful extended family willing to help the child with her problem. Traditional foods such as avocados, tamales, and tortillas decorate the birthday table as the congenial family gathers to celebrate. Young children will be able to relate to the simple, yet realistic, conclusion to the tale. A basic glossary, with pronunciation guide, precedes the text. This will be a welcome addition for both bilingual children and those who are looking to expand and reinforce their basic Spanish vocabulary.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
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Elya, a former Spanish teacher, takes a small moment in time—those several days in which a baby tooth is wiggly and almost ready to come out—and gives it a Spanish-inflected telling. Like her other books in this format, a glossary and a pronunciation guide accompany the story, whose simple stanzas each contain a couple of Spanish words in bold type. In addition to the stubborn tooth, the narrator has another problem: her father’s birthday is tomorrow: “I have no regalo. / And that’s not a good thing. / Since no gift is malo.” Mattheson’s illustrations, in oil paint on primed paper, are vivid and bright, and they capture a cheerful world where such obstacles are certain to be overcome. The child may despair that the tooth fairy will not arrive in time to finance a gift, but she is resourceful and creative, and she even copes when the puppies she is bathing for money become unruly. The last page—featuring a smiling father embracing a daughter who now has a tooth missing from her grin—is satisfyingly sweet. Preschool-Grade 1. --Abby Nolan
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