The Bear's Toothache


Book: The Bear’s Toothache

Author and Illustrator: David McPhail

Publisher: Live Oak Media, republished in 1980

ISBN-13: 978-0316563123 (Hardcover)

ISBN-10: 0316563129 (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 978-0874990829 (Paperback)

ISBN-10: 0874990823 (Paperback)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Any books donated for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     McPhail, DavidThe Bear’s Toothache (published in 1972 by Little Brown and Co. Juvenile).  In this amusing story a little boy who cannot go to sleep discovers a bear with a toothache outside his bedroom window one night, lets him in, and tries to think of ways of removing the aching tooth. The book has a great opening where the young boy in bed hears a giant “OOOOOO” outside his window.  The boy’s efforts to extract the hurting tooth result in much bearish behavior which means some minor disasters in the small house as the bear eats all the food in the refrigerator and knocks over a lamp.  The portrayal of Dad who is awakened by the sound of the lamp’s breaking but doesn’t see the bear hiding under the bed, is hilarious    

     There’s a successful resolution in which, pre-dentist fashion, the bear’s tooth is tied to a rope as he jumps out the window.  The simple but rich illustrations by the author add to the book’s hilarity.  It is a delightful, fun book for children, especially to help prepare them for a visit to the dentist.  We checked it out of the library to accompany our older son Mark’s homeschool health studies about teeth.  David McPhail has created dozens of beloved books, including the celebrated Mole Music, which was a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year; the bestselling If You Were My Bunny; Edward and the Pirates; Lost!; and Drawing Lessons from a Bear.

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