The Amazing and True Story of Tooth Mouse Pérez

Enchanted Lion. Mar. 2023. 48p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781592703593.
Gr 2-5–According to this Spanish folktale, today’s tooth fairy descended from tiny mice who lived in thatched roofs and collected baby teeth, enabling children to grow. The text-heavy tale employs second-person narration to draw readers in as Herreros recounts how Tooth Mouse Pérez had children, one of whom married an ant, sprouted wings, and eventually became the gift-giver we know today. Warm, pencil-textured illustrations feature Leonni-style mice as well as surprising hiding spots for molars that will keep readers engaged where the text is stilted or overly detailed: “Now whenever he collected a baby tooth from a child, he would leave a small gift or coin in its place. (This exchange is called ‘bartering’ if a gift is left, and ‘buying’ if it’s money.)” These details may please some readers, but do interrupt the tale.
VERDICT Most effective as a read-aloud, this dense history/myth doesn’t quite meet its stated goal of being a story about magic and growing up but does offer a whimsical and informative element to the folklore collections of upper elementary libraries.

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