This would be a cute book to give as a gift, along with a new tooth brush and toothpaste (they have such a variety now for kids!) "The Tooth Book" is the last installment of a dozen Dr. Seuss books in the "Bright and Early Books" series... this one is actually written under one of the pen names used by Theodor Geisel for books he authored but didn't illustrate, Theo. LeSieg (Geisel spelled backward). Apparently the first publication was in 1981 with Roy McKie as illustrator, but we purchased this 2000 hardcover version which is illustrated by Joe Mathieu, featuring a cartoonish-looking young boy who learns about different types of creatures who have teeth, and what teeth help us do (chew, speak, smile... our favorite is the high trapezer who's connected to his wife by only a string between their teeth... "If I should ever lose a tooth, I'd lose my wife, and that's the truth.") He also learns about creatures who don't have teeth, which means they can't eat food that requires chewing, or play trombones). He discovers he'll get two sets of teeth, but "THAT'S ALL THE TEETH YOU'LL EVER GET!", so he needs to take care of them. The colorful illustrations all prominently feature teeth (have to mention that I enjoyed Mathieu's illustrations in "The Eye Book" much more than these... some of the characters are a little strangeish/creepy looking), and are paired up with the simple words, rhymes and rhythms of this series of books to help keep a youngster interested.
It's been a wonderful opportunity for me to be at a point in my life where I'm able to stay home and babysit our two grandchildren for these past almost six years, since I worked outside of the home when my own two grown sons were young and don't feel I was able to as fully participate in all of the little daily discoveries kids make in the early years - truly amazing what they can soak it so quickly! When it came time for our younger grandson's first Christmas, he was just 9 months old. Grandpa & I thought it would be a better idea - since we already had an overabundance of toddler toys in the house that our older grandson no longer played with - to have his gifts that year be the beginning of a complete collection of Dr. Seuss books. The older one (4 year age difference) was able to start enjoying the "Beginner Books" series (age 4-8) immediately, and the (now 22 month old) younger one has graduated from board books to this "Bright and Early Books" series, with the clever tag line of being "for Beginning Beginners" (age 3 & under).
There were only a couple of things I wish were different in this book... I'm a big believer in not placing labels on people (i.e. "he's dumb"...), and a couple of things the young boy is warned about are, "don't be dumb like Mr. Glotz. Don't break your teeth untying knots! And don't be dumb like Katy Klopps. Don't try to chew off bottle tops!" I'm trying to make sure my grandsons are learning that people are not dumb, though they can do dumb things sometimes. The other was the last page... "And never bite your dentist when he works inside your head. Your dentist is your teeth's best friend. Bite someone else instead!" I know there can sometimes seem to be an over-abundance of political-correctness these days, and I recognize Geisel was just trying to be humorous, but I think that last line could've been written differently... "Bite some bread instead!" or something, rather than suggesting the boy bite "someone else"! Sorry, Dr. Seuss, but Grandma's going to have to deduct "one star" for those things.
In case you're interested, the other books in the series are: "The Foot Book", "The Eye Book", "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?", "In A People House", "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!", "The Shape of Me and Other Stuff", "The Pop-Up Mice of Mr. Brice", "There's a Wocket in My Pocket!", "Great Day for Up", "Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog?", and "Hooper Humperdink...? Not Him!"