Cover image for Throw your tooth on the roof : tooth traditions from around the world
Throw your tooth on the roof : tooth traditions from around the world
Beeler, Selby B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Consists of brief statements relating what children from around the world do with a tooth that has fallen out. Includes facts about teeth.
Reading Level:
AD 770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.2 0.5 71289.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.3 3 Quiz: 34951 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR489.3 .B44 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GR489.3 .B44 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GR489.3 .B44 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GR489.3 .B44 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GR489.3 .B44 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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What do you do when you lose a tooth? Do you put it under your pillow and wait for the tooth fairy? Not if you live in Botswana! In Botswana, children throw their teeth onto the roof. In Afghanistan they drop their teeth down mouse holes, and in Egypt they fling their teeth at the sun! Travel around the world and discover the surprising things children do when they lose a tooth. Selby B. Beeler spent years collecting traditions from every corner of the globe for this whimsical book, and illustrator G. Brian Karas adds to the fun, filling every page with humorous detail. He perfectly captures the excitement and pride that children experience when a tooth falls out.

This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Informational Texts)

Author Notes

Selby B. Beeler first became interested in lost-tooth traditions in other countries when a friend from Brazil asked, What's a Tooth Fairy?" Curious, Selby has been canvassing strangers ever since. This is her first book. G. Brian Karas has illustrated more than thirty books for children, including Truman's Aunt Farm, by Jama Kim Rattigan, and Mr. Carey's Garden, by Jane Cutler."

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. If children think a visit from the Tooth Fairy is the only way to trade in baby teeth, they're in for a surprise. Beeler's funny and intriguing sampling of lost-tooth traditions from around the world shows that teeth are every bit as likely to end up down a mouse hole, in the stomach of a dog, or on the roof of a house, as they are under a pillow. Written as first-person statements, the customs, identified by country, are accompanied by a small illustration in which Karas attempts to capture some distinctive feature of the area--koalas in Australia, the Eiffel Tower in France, a thatched-roof dwelling in Cameroon. The artwork doesn't always achieve the goal, but it's consistently lively and comical. For children curious about teeth in general, Beeler has rounded up some basic facts to which Karas has added a nicely captioned picture of a mouth opened to reveal a stunning array of pearly whites. Lots and lots of fun. --Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Children from countries on each continent explain what they do when they lose a tooth, including throwing their teeth on the roof. PW called this volume "an eye-opener for young Americans who may have assumed that the Tooth Fairy holds a worldwide visa." Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-This book describes a variety of rituals for the numerous occasions (usually 20) on which a child loses baby teeth. About a half-dozen countries in a broad geographic region are covered on each two-page spread. For each nation, an appealing youngster dressed in native attire provides one- or two-sentence summaries of local tooth customs. Other than in Germany (an alpine lass perfunctorily states, "I don't do anything special with my tooth") or Lithuania ("I keep my tooth as a keepsake"), children usually reap some benefit from their natural loss-fiscal and/or psychological. Proper baby-tooth disposal ensures a new, healthy, straight tooth and possible money or candy, good luck, health, or even a desirable career. Beliefs presented include the Anglo North American Tooth Fairy tradition; the Central and South American mythologies about El Ratón (the mouse); contracts with chickens, the sun, "Mr. Moon," rats, or mice in Africa; and Eurasian exchanges with mice, crows, or squirrels. Also, some folks end up with tooth jewelry. A world map helps with the geography and a couple of appended dental diagrams give youngsters a simple oral overview. In the author's note, Beeler reveals her research techniques, which included everything from interviews on the street to worldwide correspondence. A fun comparative study for the tooth-losing crowd.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.