Tooth by Tooth: Comparing Fangs, Tusks, and Chompers

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publish Date
9.4 X 11.1 X 0.5 inches | 0.9 pounds
Library Binding

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About the Author

Sara Levine is an author, educator and veterinarian. Her science books for children include Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons; Tooth by Tooth: Comparing Fangs, Tusks, and Chompers; Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones; Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate, and Eye by Eye: Comparing Animal Peepers (2020). Her books have received a number of awards including AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize, Utah Beehive Book Award, Cook Prize finalist, Monarch Award master list, and Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year.
T.S Spookytooth has been illustrating for many years. Throughout these years of brandishing a paintbrush, he has explored the diverse fields of children's picture books; magazine and newspaper illustrations; and advertising, packaging, and illustrating for websites.

When not working on illustration commissions, he likes to find time to work on many of his own personal projects. He keeps these projects locked in a suitcase but sometimes he forgets where he left the key. An ideal day for Mr. Spookytooth is to ponder and then to draw these ponderings. Some food is fitted in along the way followed by more ponderings and the occasional readjustment of his bow tie, but ponderings are the main order of the day.

He also lives in a house with Mrs. Spookytooth and thankfully she is fond of a ponder as well . . . and is good at finding lost keys.


"A guessing game meets zoological dentistry in this informational picture book. Facts are on every page, starting at the beginning, with an introduction to types of human teeth. From there, the narrator invites readers to guess what type of mammal they'd be if, for example, 'your top canine teeth grew almost all the way down to your feet.' A page turn reveals the answer: 'A walrus!' The mammals range from the easily guessed, like an elephant, to the more obscure, such as the pangolin, which has no teeth at all. With playful text and a kid-friendly approach, this title's cleverest part is the reinforcement of toothcabulary: kids will walk away with a comprehensive understanding of the difference between incisors, canines, and molars. Spookytooth's full-color, collage-like illustrations show off a diverse group of kids with round, expressive faces and, of course, wide toothy smiles that, though maybe a bit unsettling when packed with animal chompers, will surely elicit some giggles. A great addition to any library where animal books are popular--so, almost all of them."--Booklist


"Adopting an interactive, question-and-answer approach, Levine introduces children to common characteristics and variations in the teeth of mammals. Directly addressing readers, the author invites them to identify the three types of mammal teeth (incisors, canines, and molars) by looking into a mirror. 'Do you see the flat teeth in front? Those are your incisors. If you haven't lost any recently, you should have four on top and four on the bottom. How many do you have?' Next, Levine asks readers to guess which kind of mammal they'd be if they sported particular types of teeth--for example, 'if you had really long canines?' A page turn delivers an answer, capitalized exuberantly: 'A SEAL OR A CAT OR A DOG OR A BEAR!' (Asterisked footnotes often add additional examples.) Spookytooth's flat, stylized, presumably digitally composed pictures incorporate textures of watercolor and wood, using shadows to suggest depth and dimension. Two girls and two boys with differing skin colors hilariously embody Levine's 'what ifs, ' modeling everything from a beaver's protruding incisors to the tusks of the elephant, walrus, warthog, and narwhal. Levine points out specific adaptations in the teeth of meat eaters, herbivores and omnivores and devotes a few pages to the mainly undifferentiated teeth of non-mammals. As they did in Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons, Levine and Spookytooth successfully combine science fact, interactive fun, and giggle-inducing pictures."--Kirkus Reviews


"An engaging text invites readers to open wide and look in the mirror to see their three types of teeth (and maybe a bit of food, as in some of the illustrations). Big-headed cartoon kids are depicted with animal teeth in their giant, teeth-filled mouths, and the author asks questions such as 'What kind of mammal would you be if your top and bottom canine teeth curled up out of your mouth so you had two pairs of tusks?' The following page provides answers. Readers also find out that horses, cows, and giraffes have really tall molars, as do sheep, goats, llamas, antelopes, deer, and zebras. Readers won't want to stop until they reach the last tooth. A brief overview of fish, amphibian, and reptile teeth complements the information on mammal teeth. VERDICT: Playful and laugh-out-loud funny, this informative picture book belongs in every dentist office and library."--School Library Journal