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Publisher: Ditto Enterprises (March 28, 2018)

The need for good dental care and its effect on the tooth fairies working behind the scenes is colorfully highlighted in this action-packed book for children of all ages.

Author Denise Ditto has created a delightful fantasy realm where fairies — like the prankster Jolene, the dedicated Batina, and proud, fast-flying Lucas — learn to collect and process teeth left for them by children everywhere. Jolene has finally gotten her Tooth Collector credentials and can join friends in their assignments. The story follows Batina into the messy room of a boy named Scooter, whose tooth shows signs of deplorable brushing habits. When she brings the tooth back to Brushelot for inspection, she fears the worst.

Sure enough, Batina is banished to Decay Valley until Scooter learns how to treat his teeth better, based on a letter she will leave for him encouraging better habits. Meanwhile, Jolene, who tried to help Batina by painting the ugly tooth white, is in big trouble with Crown Mistress Molar. Lucas, the fastest flyer, delivers Batina’s note to Scooter. But who will collect Scooter’s next tooth and rescue Batina from Decay Valley?

Ditto’s enjoyable story is made all the more accessible with bright pictures provided by Gabhor Utomo. Both author and illustrator are experienced, award-winning practitioners in their fields. Each fairy has distinctive clothing and wing coloration, harmonizing neatly with the narrative depicting their vibrant, differing personalities. Children will take the messages conveyed seriously as they learn that good teeth produce rewards and happiness, not only for themselves but also for the tooth fairies that take their offerings. It’s a happy melding of pleasant fantasies with the essential lessons embedded in the plot.

Ditto’s imaginative story will make an enjoyable read-to for a younger audience. At the same time, older readers will catch hints of romance and friendly fellowship along with reminders to take school seriously, help those in need, and, of course, take good care of their teeth.

The Tooth Collector Fairies: Home From Decay Valley, Book 2 won GRAND PRIZE in the CIBAs 2018 LITTLE PEEPS Awards for Children’s Literature. Ditto’s first book in the series, Batina’s First Day, won Grand Prize in the 2016 Little Peeps Awards.