Friday, July 23, 2010

International Literature

The Tooth

by Avi Slodovnick

The Tooth, written by Avi Slodovnick, was first published in Canada, and is an influential story which beautifully and respectfully introduces young children to the subject of homelessness. The title character of Marissa, along with her mother, must make a trip to the dentist’s office to get a tooth pulled. As mother and daughter walk downtown among the tall buildings, they encounter someone special and for Marissa the trip to the dentist turns out to be more about the homeless man than an aching tooth.

I was impressed with how the author dealt with presenting this subject matter to young readers. Slodovnick was able to capture a child’s innocence and natural sense of compassion for those in need. Artist Maron Gauthier’s muted-colored illustrations add warmth and character to this beautiful text. I would recommend The Tooth to be a part of any classroom collection.

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