Stories aren't just for reading. They can be great for teaching little kiddos about life, values or even daily habits. The latest book that we have been reading has given me the opportunity to open the world of… well… teeth to her.
Imagine a little mouse, who's the best dentist around, who is able to ensure that his patients don't feel any pain at all. Isn't that just awesome? That's the expertise of Doctor De Soto, the main character, and name of the book by William Steig. Every animal, big and small, heads to Doctor De Soto to solve their toothache problems, using his regular dentist chair or a ladder, or even a hoist pulled by his wife to lift him up to his patient's mouth.
Why? It's because he is a tiny mouse. This is also the reason why he absolutely refuses to treat animals such as cats and foxes, animals which have a taste for mice. A fox, however, does turn up in terrible pain, and the kind-hearted Doctor de Soto does treat his toothache. But, the fox is constantly tempted to eat the tiny dentist and his wife. And when the fox finally decides to eat them, the Doctor and his wife cleverly found a way to prevent the fox from eating them - by applying a 'secret formula' that makes the fox's teeth stick together.
Compared to the previous books that we've shared, EV's response to this title was rather muted. But it was still a story she gladly listened to while mummy read to her. What I liked about this book is the illustrations. There is always so much happening. This usually results in many discussions of the pictures themselves. For example, a picture of Doctor De Soto being hoisted up to treat the teeth of a donkey can lead to a discussion about pulleys and the concept of gravity. This also helps to develop visual literary, an important aspect in today's world.
The most important learning that this book gives is about teeth, or rather, the importance of taking care of one's teeth to avoid getting toothaches. And we did some home learning activities with this theme.
Besides discussing topics such as what caused the fox's toothache, and how to avoid it, we also made a teeth craft to reinforce the importance of teeth care.
Here's what you need:
Recycled egg cartons
Red cardboard paper
Bits of felt, in different colours
Firstly, I got EV to paint the recycled egg cartons. Then I glued them to some red cardboard paper to resemble a set of teeth. Then I stuck bits of felt in green, yellow and brown between the 'teeth'. These felt are food such as vegetables and meat.
Then using a Q-tip as a 'toothbrush', I got EV to 'brush' the teeth to remove the food bits. This is meant to reinforce the idea that food we eat do get stuck on our teeth, and the reason for brushing one's teeth.
EV does brush her teeth, but sometimes, she does get a little lazy. It's fine to keep reminding EV about brushing her teeth, but nothing beats actually showing her and letting her see with her own eyes. I think that this teeth craft has done well in reinforcing that.
Even AA had a go at it too.
Stay tuned, as we will be another of our favourite books in the next Book Box Thursday. Till then, have fun reading as a family!!
Disclaimer: We received a copy of Doctor De Soto from My Imagination Kingdom. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and images are my own.