Friday, 9 March 2012

The Boy Who Hated Toothbrushes by Zehra Hicks

Hooray for author/illustrator Zehra Hicks and her debut book published by Macmillan.  Hicks' funky designs, unique illustrations and classic theme make this title an ideal contemporary children's book. 

Billy's got some attitude and we like him all the more for it.  He hates brushing his teeth and gets easily distracted by much more important things like playing with trains and flying paper airplanes.

His world is turned on its head when the tooth fairy refuses to leave him any money for his nasty tooth. Instead, she gives him an awesome new tooth sparkler (aka a new toothbrush) that does all kinds of things he could have never imagined.  In the end, Billy decides that brushing his teeth is pretty great and soon he has the cleanest teeth in town.  What I like best is that somehow Billy manages to keep just the right amount of attitude to stay cool even when he's got clean teeth.

E may not fully understand the clever twist in the story but we find lots to talk about in the different illustrations.  It serves a dual purpose by giving me a good excuse to make teeth brushing sound like fun (at the moment he's neck and neck with Billy for the toothbrush attitude award). The text is wonderfully uncluttered which is partly why I think it holds E's attention so well.  A four year old I know also loved the book and enjoyed it on a whole different level.  What kid wouldn't get a kick out of a picture of Billy hiding in the toilet!  I look forward to the next release from Hicks, The Girl Who Loved Wellies.  In the meantime, check out her website which is just as fun and clever as her book:

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