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Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World Paperback – September 24, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Eat your heart out, tooth fairy. According to the informal research of the author, the world is full of other, equally fascinating myths and traditions about what happens, or should be done, when those milk choppers part company with childish gums. If you come from Chile or Costa Rica, your parents will have the tooth made into a charm. If you're Venezuelan, you put the tooth under your pillow and hope that a mouse brings you money. (Oddly enough, mice, milk teeth, and money are associated all over the world.) Playful illustrations by G. Brian Karas include a world map, plus lots of fun depictions of the world's dentally challenged junior inhabitants. (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Children from countries on each continent explain what they do when they lose a tooth, including throwing their teeth on the roof. PW called this volume "an eye-opener for young Americans who may have assumed that the Tooth Fairy holds a worldwide visa." Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618152385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618152384
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. G. SFAELLOU on March 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
Even though this book was written primarily for children, as a folklorist I found it most enjoyable and discovered so many fascinating traditions that are not recorded in any folklore archives. Here every single continent is represented and we learn how children of different nationalities dispose of their lost milk tooth. Of course, it is only to be expected that a few obscure examples have not been included. For instance, there is no reference to the old Cornish custom by which "children's first teeth are burnt to prevent dog's teeth or 'snaggles' - irregular teeth coming in their stead" (M.A. Courtney "Folklore and Legends of Cornwall", 1890, rep. 1989, pp. 156-7). Moreover, there is no mention of the Maltese custom of burying the tooth in a flower pot so that the new tooth (like the plant in the pot) will emerge (Pullicino, J.C. "Studies in Maltese Folklore", Malta Univ. Press, 1976, rep.1992, p.245). Yet there are so many fascinating examples, most of which were unknown to me. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Greek custom of throwing the milk tooth onto the roof ( a custom I was interested to learn is also pracitised in Korea and Taiwan). Infact, in Greece the throwing of the tooth onto the roof is accompanied by the reciting of a little rhyme which can be loosely translated as follows: 'Take sow my tooth and give me an iron one so that I can chew rusks'. In some regions of Greece, it is a mouse not a sow which is invoked. Therefore I was interested to see how the mouse also features in several parallel traditions throughout the world. For instance, we learn that Spanish children believe that the mouse Ratoncito Perez will substitute the tooth under the pillow for money or sweets(candies) as will his French counterpart La Petite Souris.Read more ›
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By A Customer on June 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
We found this book in our dentist's office and it kept my kids occupied with no thought of their about-to-happen visit. What a stroke of brilliance to have this in the waiting room. When we left, I saw an older man reading it and he had a big smile on his face. My dentist said she's been giving a copy to graduating dental students ... of course. My cousin's graduating from dental school next spring, so I'm glad to have THAT gift problem solved. Besides, it's fun to read. Who would have thought that tooth-losing traditions would be different all over the world? My kids started asking what else is the same but different with kids in other countries--good question.
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By A Customer on September 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am a second year dental hygiene student and have recently been reading many tooth fairy tales. I loved the way the author showed the similarities as well as the differences of the world tooth traditions. I brought the book into our college clinic; those that had the chance to read the book loved all the different stories as well. Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World, by Selby B. Beeler, was a joy to read.
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By A Customer on January 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The kids love this book! Concerned about losing their baby teeth, the kids with whom I've read this book are intrigued to learn that they are not the only ones in the world who lose their teeth and do something special with them. A must-read for the tooth-losing age group!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not expect such a great and informative and cute book at this price. Amazing and awsome.
My child who is 6 was just mesmerized by all the info in the book. She is great reader and
she read the book all by herself within half hour drive in the car. It has relatively small print
so I needed glasses when I tried to read it again with her at bedtime but she managed to read
fluetly without any problems.
The book has nifty simple map of the world at the beginning and all the customs are divided
into the geographical regions as in.. North America.. South America.. Central and south Africa..
Australia.. etc.. there are bit more divisions then only continents but not that many more.
It makes totally sense considering that there are different geographical/ethnical regions within
one continent and that is reflected in the custom.

Someone complained in redundancy of the customs but I think that it is not a flow, it is actuall
amazing sociological phenomenont that happens around the world and is reflected in the book..
a child picks up on it quickly as she reads and figures that there are actually similarities
or customs are identical in few countries.. that makes you wonder and you begin to
speculate and analize and make some scientifical discoveries.. as in..
it becames apparently obvious that the countries that were UK colonies share the same custom
as UK.. and then again.. areas where african culture was relocated from africa reflect the roots
of african customs etc.. that is just awsome and the whole deducting by geography thing
makes so much fun for a child.

you can clearly see why and where the similarites are and where they must have orignated.
Read more ›
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By A Customer on November 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have been sending this book to friends whose children are reaching the tooth losing age. It provides an interesting perspective on the many odd traditions around the world. My friends have liked the fact the book is not US-centric, but instead spans the globe and various cultures.
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