Alma’s Way: Junior’s Lost Tooth

Scholastic. (Scholastic Reader, Level 2). Jan. 2023. 32p. adapted by Gabrielle Reyes. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781338862553.
K-Gr 2–Based on an episode of the PBS Kids’s animated series Alma’s Way, this book focuses on Junior, Alma’s little brother. Junior is excited to lose his first tooth—he even plans to let his tooth be the star of a “Tooth-tastic Show”—and Alma wants to help. Alma and Junior consult their Tía Gloria for advice on how to lose the tooth. She recommends eating hot pepper pretzels, but instead Junior wiggles his tooth one more time, and out it pops. Unfortunately, the hot pepper from the pretzels makes Junior sneeze, and the tooth flies away. The whole family searches and finally finds Junior’s tooth, and the story ends with an image of Junior’s tooth show. As a Level 2 Reader, this book has between 250 and 750 words, introduces new vocabulary, and contains longer sentences. There isn’t a lot of tension in this book. Like the show, this book is gentle and sweet. The 
characters are kind to one another, and the Bronx-based Puerto Rican family unit is very loving.
VERDICT A warm story that will help newly independent readers practice feeling empathy for storybook characters.

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