Does every country have a Tooth Fairy? Well, in Spain and other Spanish- speaking countries, it happens to be a Tooth Mouse, and this is his story!
★ A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2023 ★ A 2024 USBBY Outstanding International Book ★
Long ago, throughout the Spanish-speaking world, the Tooth Mouse brought children their permanent teeth, strong and straight as a mouse’s. Tracing the Tooth Mouse’s beginnings through to his descendants, this book artfully weaves the Tooth Mouse’s changing habits as the world industrializes, with the growing independence of the child, as teeth fall out and the child learns to care for themselves.
It’s also a playful, thought-provoking history of our changing world—as even Tooth Mice and children must adapt their customs when faced with the culture-shifting forces of urbanization, migration, and capitalism...
Just remember, magic can always be recovered, and the real gift in losing baby teeth is growing up!
Ana Cristina Herreros, a philologist and folklore specialist, combines her work as an editor with her day job as a professional storyteller, performing under the name Ana Griott since 1992. In addition to running her own publishing house, Libros de las Malas Compañías, she has written several books about folktales, including The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It(a New York Times Best Children's Book of 2021), which is also illustrated by Violeta Lópiz.
Violeta Lópiz is a Spanish illustrator currently living in Peru. She has illustrated numerous books, including three with Enchanted Lion: The Forest (a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2018), The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It (a New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2021), and At the Drop of a Cat. She has participated in exhibitions in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Israel, Turkey, USA, Japan, Korea, and more. El Cultural, the supplement ofEl Mundo, considers her one of the top ten names of contemporary Spanish illustration.Her work can be found in books, newspapers, and the thousands of notebooks that she leaves scattered around.
Sara Lissa Paulson learned Spanish in the streets of Sevilla with Antonio Marín Márquez, his bandmates, friends, and family. There, she got her first translation job at age 19 for a local music zine. Her degrees are in Comparative Literature, Spanish, Bilingual Education, and Library Science. She has worked as a children’s librarian in NYC’s alternative elementary and high schools for over 21 years, reading aloud day in and day out, and teaches future librarians of all ages at Queens College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies.
Violeta Lópiz is a Spanish illustrator currently living in Peru. She has
illustrated numerous books, including The True Story of a Mouse Who Never
Asked for It (a New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2021) and The
Forest (a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2018). El
Cultural, the supplement of El Mundo, considers her one of the top ten
names of contemporary Spanish illustration.
Sara learned Spanish in the streets of Sevilla with Antonio Marín Márquez, his bandmates, friends, and family. It was there that she got her first translation job at age 19 for a local music zine. Her degrees are in Comparative Literature, Spanish, Bilingual Education, and Library Science. She has worked as a children’s librarian in NYC’s alternative elementary and high schools for over 21 years, reading aloud day in and day out, and teaches future librarians of all ages at Queens College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2023!
A 2024 USBBY Outstanding International Book!
Selected for the Evanston Public Library "101 Great Books for Kids List: 2023 Edition"
“Oh, I just love this! I’ve heard of teeth mice before and I’ve even seen books about different losing-your-teeth traditions from around the world. Still I’ve never seen a really really really good book on the subject before. Now, at long last, I think I have. This covers traditional tooth mouse folktales, sure, but it also acknowledges how times change and how people, and traditions, have to adapt. If you don’t live in houses with roofs then throw your tooth in the fireplace. There aren’t fireplaces now? Then put the teeth under your pillow! And then to weave in other tooth fairy/insect ideas as well? Fantastico. A thorough winner from start to finish.“ —Betsy Bird, A Fuse 8 Production (a School Library Journal blog)
★ “An examination of that universal milestone signaling maturation—losing a tooth—that also offers a tongue-in-cheek history of tooth collection… Lópiz’s softly textured compositions, populated by Lionni-esque rodents, offer whimsical scenes that readers will linger over. In a brilliant parody of Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas, Pérez’s daughters, decked out in cupcake liner skirts, confer in a candy shop that mirrors the setting of its inspiration. Herreros’ experience as a professional storyteller comes through clearly. Although the text, translated from Spanish and drawing from actual Spanish myths, may seem wordy, Herreros’ deadpan tone, second-person form of address, and folktale cadences will keep listeners rapt. A deeply humorous, beautifully imaginative celebration of growing up.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“When baby teeth fall out, why do children put them under their pillows? Why do parents sneak in at night and swap the teeth for money? To judge from the fanciful history told in The Amazing and True Story of Tooth Mouse Pérez, such rituals began as a means of ensuring that nice straight adult teeth would grow in… As time passed and houses got taller, we learn how the practice evolved into the custom we know today from the career of one Tooth Mouse Pérez, who moved to Madrid at the end of the 19th century with his family. In Violeta Lópiz’s soft-edged, humorous illustrations, we see the Pérez mouselings in a tableau modeled on the Velázquez painting ‘Las Meninas,’ with the girl-mice wearing full skirts made of cupcake wrappers. This chatty and inventive account for 5- to 9-year-olds, which is translated from the Spanish by Sara Lissa Paulson and draws on an old Spanish narrative, eventually migrates, as it were, to other countries, presenting a witty and unexpected origin story for the creature we call the Tooth Fairy.“ —Wall Street Journal
"Warm, densely textured drawings by Lópiz provide notes of cheery surrealism, as a Tooth Mouse wears a chef’s toque the size of a molar and winged entities dance across the surface of a vinyl record." —Publishers Weekly
"Warm, pencil-textured illustrations feature Leonni-style mice as well as surprising hiding spots for molars that will keep readers engaged... Offer[s] a whimsical and informative element to the folklore collections of upper elementary libraries." —School Library Journal