Monday, December 27, 2010

April and Esme Tooth Fairies by Bob Graham

How does Bob Graham do it? Again and again he brings off stories and art that should be simperingly sentimental...and yet it isn't. What is cuter and more twee than tooth fairies? But Bob Graham's tooth fairies are adorable and sweeter than chocolate truffles while still being determined, tough, relatable, completely real characters.

April and Esme are ready to collect their first tooth. Their parents aren't so sure, but April is seven and three quarters after all and it's time for them to take their first flight. They navigate the city and it's lights, the breezy wind and messy toys only to find the precious tooth in water! Even when the little boy wakes up they manage to avert disaster and successfully take their first tooth!
This book reminds me of Mary Norton's classic Borrowers stories. There's the same exquisite combination of the miniature and the real, the cute and the tough. Like the Borrowers, the tooth fairies' house is full of repurposed items. There's plenty of danger out in the world for tiny beings, but there's adventure and excitement and family as well. Graham adds into the mix his own trademark contemporary family - April's dad complete with pony tail and wings, her mother with tattoos and flowers in her bathing in a teacup. There's gentle humor and a real sense of the excitement and importance of growing up.

Verdict: Perfect. Absolutely perfect at every point.

ISBN: 9780763646837; Published September 2010 by Candlewick; Review copy provided by publisher for Cybils

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