Review Blog

Oct 28 2010

April Underhill, tooth fairy by Bob Graham

cover image Walker Books, 2010. ISBN 978 1 40632155,
Picture book. Recommended. When grandma calls April, asking her specifically to do a tooth visit, father is unsure whether April and her sister Esme are ready to do their first solo run. He goes carefully through their list of things to do, while mum gives all sorts of reasons for them not to go. Eventually the parents relent, but not before giving the girls some advice about what to do. The boy must never see them, they are warned, because that would spoil the magic, and April is given a string bag to bring back the tooth in. Mum checks that they have their mobile phone with them, and off they fly, into the night, away from their little house under the old tree trunk near the M42. Buffetted by the wind, they find the house and wing their way upstairs. But as they take the tooth, Daniel's eyelids flutter, and they must text mum to ask what to do. They pull his eyelids shut then visit grandma and tell her they have done the visit. And fly home to be congratulated and welcomed by their parents. Daniel wakes the next morning to tell grandma what has happened.
Brimful with the warmth of family life, of love and comfort, of trust and learning to do things by themselves, this  book by Bob Graham is appealing and enticing, as the two girls venture out alone to collect the tooth. With the world all around they take their work seriously, texting mum when help is needed, and making their own decisions on the way. The illustrations are amazing with the depth that signifies Graham's work, and filled with humour and detail that all readers love.
Fran Knight
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