Review of I Lost My Tooth!

I Lost My Tooth! [Unlimited Squirrels]
by Mo Willems; illus. by the author
Primary    Hyperion    86 pp.
10/18    978-1-368-02457-0    $12.99

Willems hands the reins of this new early reader series to fifteen cartoony squirrels, a yellow bird (a.k.a. Flappy Squirrel), and a couple of joke-telling acorns. The series is a step up in complexity from the Elephant & Piggie books and geared toward more independent readers. The nutty characters are introduced on the front endpapers, though keeping track of everyone isn’t critical to enjoying the antics. “The BIG Story!” stars Zoom Squirrel, whose pals go Amelia Bedelia on their buddy when they hear Zoom has lost a tooth: “‘WE WILL FIND YOUR TOOTH!’” Upon learning it was a baby tooth, the amateur-hour detectives break out into over-the-top hysteria: “‘Poor baby!’ ‘All alone!’…‘It must be hungry!’” Willems’s familiar cleanly designed — if here more populated — spreads set the characters and their color-coded speech-balloon chatter on solid-bordered white backgrounds. Six shorter sections follow the story, including twelve pages devoted to squirrel Research Rodent, who offers a few factual nuggets about human and squirrel teeth, and “Fur Real,” which is emceed by game-show host Quiz Squirrel and serves up more bite-size information. Three interspersed “acorn-y” jokes are presented by a couple of easily amused acorns; “emote-acorns” show up when “the Squirrels have BIG feelings!” There’s a lot packed into the lively pages, but most app-savvy kids will be accustomed to the visual stimulation.

From the November/December 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Kitty Flynn
Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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