Author Bonnie Ferrante bites into the drama that surrounds your child’s first loose tooth
Prolific Canadian writer Bonnie Ferrante is an intriguing figure in the indie authoring scene. A teacher for 33 years, ten as the school’s librarian, she has since been battling Parkinson’s Disease. Fighting back against this life-altering condition, Bonnie writes and illustrates her own picture books, self-publishing the works across the globe. Her latest tale, Then The Tooth Fairy Won’t Come, shows how well she understands children and the way they think, resulting in a story that’s sure to make your little ones laugh and cringe at the same time.
Then The Tooth Fairy Won’t Come – Story Review
Young Dion has a problem: his tooth is so wobbly, it’s about to fall out at any moment. It’s a bit scary, of course, but the good news is that the tooth fairy will come with a present once it has finally fallen out. As long as he doesn’t lose it in the process. Thankfully his good friend Timo is on hand with any number of big ideas on how they can extract this troublesome tooth. But with each idea, Dion becomes more and more worried about the outcome, leading the two boys on path of silliness and over-enthusiastic imaginations, as they overthink what this common human occurrence.
I really like this story as Ferrante’s imagination is just so wonderfully childlike. There is no preamble; it’s all about the tooth from page one. How can the two boys remove the tooth, but not lose it in the process? Because if they lose it, then the tooth fairy won’t come. And that’s even worse than losing the tooth in the first place!
As the two boys go further and further away from reality and into a fanciful “what if” scenario of what could happen if a tooth is pulled in a certain way, you know that your kids will follow their thinking. In this respect, it’s quite immersive, and some of the scenes are laugh out loud funny. Especially if you accentuate the various impacts and silliness with your own sound effects.
I also like how it subtlety approaches the discussion of over-reaction. Losing a tooth is scary, and kids have big imaginations. So as silly as the scenarios in the book may seem, they talk to the way a child can overthink simple situations. The conclusion that all that was worry was for nothing is not only unfussy, but relatable.
Then The Tooth Fairy Won’t Come – Design Review
While simply told, Ferrante does offer a few tricks in her design to bring Then The Tooth Fairy Won’t Come to life. Namely we see this in how she plays with the fonts. Actions and events are mirrored in the way the text flows through each stanza. There is quite a bit of inventiveness there, and I was impressed that Ferrante could consistently find ways to make the text “act” to the beat of the story.
I do feel that the design in places lets down the idea. Occasionally the text became challenging to read. Either the font changes too much, or it is too close to (or behind) some of the art. The page numbering occasionally gets in the way a bit as well. As a designer, I wanted to fiddle with it and make a bit more of the idea and the square format. Perhaps that is a direction for evolution in future editions.
The art style itself is also quite unique. It actually reminds me a little of Beavis and Butthead, for those who remember the cartoon. Maybe it is the two boy heroes. Ferrante’s style is minimalist in places, but plays to the story’s sense of humour nicely. The faces are expressive, which I think is very much to the book’s favour, and each setting is well implied. It feels indie and may feel odd to those more familiar with big budget books from traditional publishers. But I applaud Ferrante, who, despite the challenges she faces, is going for it and producing stories that connect to children’s imaginations.
Where to Next?
Are you looking for more great children’s books, then visit the Old Mate Media library. If you are an author or illustrator looking to make their own children’s book, then look through our services in the main menu, or read our step-by-step guide. For authors and illustrators already published who would like to have their book reviewed, then head here to learn more.