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Open Wide: Tooth School Inside Hardcover – May 1, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lauri Keller, the much-applauded creator of the wacky, wonderful The Scrambled States of America, traces one school day in a classroom of teeth in Open Wide: Tooth School Inside. Fortunately, when Dr. Flossman takes attendance, all 32 teeth are present to take the pledge: "And to the gums on which we stand, strong and healthy, with toothbrushes and toothpaste for all." The day proceeds with an anatomy lesson (illustrating dentin, enamel, pulp, etc.), which is interrupted only momentarily when Carl Canine badmouths a little molar (hurting his feelings even though he has a hard enamel shell on the outside). Sally Incisor then shares her report on primary teeth ("Babies don't even need teeth. You never see them eating corn on the cob or anything"), and the Tooth Fairy makes a guest appearance, offering molar-coaster rides and bemoaning the whole "under-the-pillow" idea, which causes her to fear suffocation.

Lunch is a messy affair--complete with food fights--and when it is over, none of the teeth feel like brushing. Of course, an in-depth lesson on tooth decay and cavities ignites a flurry of flossing, gargling, and brushing. As in Scrambled States (which is a must-see if you haven't yet read it), every clever, colorful collage bubbles with activity, hilarious asides between the teeth, and tiny details that you may miss the first time through. Two quizzes conclude the book, posing questions such as "George Washington had teeth made out of rocks and twigs. T or F" and "Tooth decay is caused by a) bacteria and germs, b) slugs and worms, c) bad perms." Kids will never ignore their teeth again--and when they do take a look in the mirror they may see a smiling tooth face peering back, begging for a good brush. (Ages 5 to 9) -- Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Dr. Flossman welcomes his 32 studentsAeight incisors, four canines, eight premolars and 12 molarsAto class at the start of Keller's (The Scrambled States of America) disappointingly flat lesson on tooth care and trivia. While, in her first book, the states themselves delivered the facts in fun-filled chatty exchanges, here the teacher drills into his anthropomorphic pupils a smattering of tooth truths, including the physical composition of teeth, the function of primary teeth, causes of tooth decay and the importance of dental hygiene. The bulk of the narrative is silly filler (for instance, a funky-looking tooth fairy pays a visit to the school and complains that she sometimes almost suffocates trying to retrieve teeth from under pillows). The book's abundant puns and asides, many delivered by the teeth themselves, may elicit as many groans as giggles from readers. One of the standout spreads, the penultimate, highlights facts about teeth during the times of the Ancient Egyptians through to George Washington. Though the book's cluttered, quirky art is at its best in comical scenarios of ambulatory teeth in the cafeteria and at recess, the visual humor, like that of the narrative, lacks the incisive bite of Keller's earlier book. Ages 5-10. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 360L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805061924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805061925
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am an adult, but I'm a big fan of Laurie Keller's two books. "Open Wide" is an hilarious, creative book about teeth which I thoroughly enjoyed even though, the day before, I had myself been through a painful dentist appointment. I knwo a couple of young children who read and loved Laurie's first book, "The Scrambled States of America" and I would imagine children will get a huge kick out of this one also. Her depiction of an elementary school environment, even though it's one filled with students who are teeth, is very accurate and observant and her illustrations are wonderful.
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Format: Hardcover
After "Scrambled States," what else can a children's book author come up with? Plenty, if you happen to be Laurie Keller, and envision the mouthful of human teeth as a "school."
Kids will recognize many elements of the classroom setting here, including familiar "types" of students -- both dilligent and smarmy. The teeth learn their oral hygiene lessons from Dr. Flossman, but not without many a well-aimed pun and off-the-cuff wisecrack. A good dose of factual material craftily sneaks its way into all the silly stuff. Keller has a sure sense of what holds the interest of kids. I met her at a book signing, and she said she was inspired by Dr. Suess, among others, as a child. With this, her second book, she is well on her way to establishing herself as a children's author in the excitingly fresh tradition of her childhood idol. But her style is all her own.
Kids will cherish this book... if you allow them to pry it from your own hands. (By the way, tell your dentist about this one!)
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Format: Hardcover
Open Wide Tooth School Inside is a silly, funny, fast paced book for the whole family. Smart, hip text with a disguised lesson about tooth care and the dentist. Terrific, colorful illustrations. And even a quiz to let kids show what they've learned. Just an all around great book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has it all-- hilarious puns, wisecracks, and every tooth joke you can imagine!
The author has taken a boring, overvisited subject, that of oral hygiene, and dressed it up humourously, with a book that will have you laughing until you cry.
the illustrations are crude but hilarious. The "characters" in the book are wacky. This gets across the hygiene message very well, if the student can get past the humour to see the message, and get past the book's funky layout to absorb any information. Older picture book fans, perhaps age 5 and 6, and young readers will love this book. SOME younger children will enjoy it also, but the layout and style will be a tad overwhelming and confusing for the very young.
If you like _Dr. Dog_, by Babette Cole, you'll love _Open Wide, Tooth School Inside_. If the hilarious, chaotic, don't-mind-if-we-gross-you-out style appeals to you, I bet you'll like both _Dr. Dog_ and _Open Wide, Tooth School Inside_.
Incidentally, adult fans of this style of humor will love it too.
ken32
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Format: Hardcover
My 4-year-old and I have really enjoyed Keller's book, "The Scrambled States of America". I ordered this title in hopes of getting a similar home run.
The artwork is great, and Keller's highly non-linear style is still a big hit with my son. For me, though, the storyline doesn't quite gel. Very little is happening in "Open Wide: Tooth School Inside". Instead, we get a recitation of facts about teeth, with large doses of humor thrown in.
Don't get me wrong, Nebraska. It's still a good book, just not up to the greatness that was "The Scrambled States of America".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Both my children LOVE Laurie Keller books. We first discovered The Scrambled States a while ago, and it was such an awesome book. I'm surprised not many people have read her books. My children have learned so much about cavities and their teeth, it's great! Laurie Keller books are funny and educational. I wish she wrote more books. We've borrowed this book from the library so many times, it was time to buy our own.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Laurie Keller's books provide enjoyment to the very young on up. My 10 year old daughter love this books and still laughs at the more adult jokes hidden in the small print. She also loves the anatomical information provided. This is a great book for a quick read before bedtime.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought as a gift for my 6 year old nephew but I read it with my 6 year old daughter before we gave it to him. It was super funny and I had to explain some of the situations as she didn't pick up on them all. I bought it with the other Laurie Keller books and the DVD.
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