Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.
The moose in this week's picture book is as lovable as he is comical, and he has a loose tooth.
"Moose's Loose Tooth" was written by Jacqueline A. Clarke and illustrated by Bruce McNally. The illustrations are very funny.
Perhaps Moose was distracted. After all, it isn't every day that one comes upon a rabbit, who is about to time a run with his stopwatch. The runner is another rabbit, who has his front paws on a white line and his big back feet braced against some rocks.
Whatever the reason, Moose runs smack into a tree, bumping his tooth. As a result, the huge tooth is very wobbly. Moose isn't upset about the loose tooth; he just wants it to fall out.
Moose daydreams about a white-haired, grandmotherly-looking Tooth Fairy, who holds the tooth in her hand. This might be the first time she's ever seen a moose tooth. Moose can hardly wait to put the tooth under his pillow.
All the time the Moose daydreams, he's wiggling the tooth with his tongue. Then, for the next several days he tries everything to get it to fall out.
He shakes his head vigorously from side to side. He rubs his tooth on top of a fence post. At night, he wiggles it with his tongue. But, the "wibbly, wobbly" tooth will not come out.
Then Bird, a purple Ostrich, comes by and offers to help. He grabs onto Moose's tooth with his beak and pulls with all his might, but the tooth won't budge.
Tiger shows up. He holds Bird, who still has the tooth in his beak. Tiger pulls Bird and Bird pulls the tooth. No luck. The animals' expressions are priceless.
Then Zebra happens along and latches onto Tiger's ear, which doesn't make Tiger very happy. But, Zebra pulls Tiger's ear, Tiger pulls Bird and Bird pulls on the tooth. That stubborn tooth will not fall out.
If this scene isn't ridiculous enough, Giraffe now joins the group. He pulls Zebra, who pulls Tiger, who pulls Bird, and Bird yanks on the tooth. Pull as they might, the "wibbly, wobbly" tooth stays put.
A very happy Elephant becomes involved. There are so many animals pulling now that it appears as if legs and tails are all tangled up. Elephant pulls on Giraffe, who pulls on Zebra, who pulls on Tiger, who pulls on Bird, and Bird pulls on the tooth.
All of the sudden, Moose's tooth comes flying out, right over the animals' heads and into the happy Elephant's mouth.
The tooth is out, but Moose won't be able to put it under his pillow for Tooth Fairy to see. The animals' eyes tell the story - they feel sorry for Moose. Elephant even offers one of his tusks.
Not to fear. The animals have a plan, a most hilarious plan.
This would be a great book to include in a curriculum unit on teeth because Moose has a gorgeous set of them, and healthy gums, too.
This paperback book costs $5.99. It's published by Scholastic, Inc., 2003.
You might find this week's book at Craig Intermediate School's Scholastic Book Fair, scheduled for Oct. 22 to 26.
Next week's review will be on "Down the Colorado: John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer."
Copyright Diane Prather, 2007. All rights reserved.