Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun story and interesting related science
Cons: It's not Elephant and Piggie!!!!
The Bottom Line:
Missing baby tooth
Starts fun looking new series
Mixes fiction, fact
Unlimited Fun and Learning with Mo Willems' New Series
Even though I have no kids, I've become a fan of Mo Willems' picture books. They are very creative with some wonderful laughs, and I've given them as gifts to new parents and my niece and nephew. So when I saw that Mo was starting a new series with I Lost My Tooth!, I was quite anxious to see what he was up to now.
This new series is Unlimited Squirrels, and it is a departure for Mo's picture books and picture books in general. But it's a good departure that I think kids will enjoy. And yes, our main characters this time around are squirrels. Since the series is just starting, I am unsure how many of the characters we met in this book will be around for the entire series. After all, if there are unlimited squirrels, we could see an entirely new cast each time, right?
Two thirds of the book feature the main story. In it, Zoom Squirrel has lost one of his front teeth. Once his friends understand what has happened, they are willing to help him look for it. But they begin to panic when they find out it is a baby tooth. Can they find the baby (tooth) before it gets too frightened?
Obviously, things take a wacky turn in this book, and I was all I could do not to start laughing out loud while reading it in the bookstore. The story is once again told exclusively with dialogue and pictures, so if you are familiar with most of Mo's other books, you know exactly what to expect here, which includes the easy to read vocabulary.
But there's more. We get three corny jokes told by a couple of squirrels. Each joke acts as a buffer between the longer sections.
So what is a tooth? You'll be able to learn all about that as the squirrels begin the discussion. Then Quiz Squirrel shows up to give us a quiz on animal teeth. These sections are fun and interesting. I can see kids enjoying them as well, and they are learning something as they read. We don’t often see pictures books with non-fiction and definitely rarely see any that combine the two.
I must admit that something seemed a little off to me about the book, but I think that is just me. I think it is because I miss Elephant and Piggie and I want more of their adventures. Kids won't be nearly as picky as I will, and I suspect my hesitation will disappear as the series progresses.
After all, what's not to love about the format? You get a funny, creative story and then learn some related science. It's a great idea for kids of all ages.
So, my hesitation aside, I still definitely recommend I Lost My Tooth! I have a feeling that we will be enjoying unlimited books in the Unlimited Squirrels series for some years to come.