We are a household of books. While I am not discriminatory, I do have my favorites. I will always pick up the new Louis DeBernieres or Kazuo Ishiguro. Of late I have added Elena Ferrante and Neil Gaiman to my must-read list of life. My kids are picking up my habits, of course, and have their own tower of books, along with their known favorites. My eldest son likes books in the style of DogMan or the Wimpy Kid series, something that combines a good story with comic-style illustrations. He occasionally veers into full-blown graphic novels, but it is this combination that appeals to him. My middle son is nonfiction all the way, especially anything put out by National Geographic. If it is full of facts, he is all over it.
For my daughter, there is only one love of her life. He wears red pajamas, has a show on Netflix, and loves his mama oh so much. Anna Dewdney has won my daughter’s heart with the character Llama Llama. She has three stuffies, one of which is Mama telling the story Llama Llama Red Pajama. If she wakes in the night, she will turn the story on to soothe herself back to sleep. She sleeps with a small fuzzy llama, much like Llama Llama does. It is, in fact, a Llama Llama doll that has had the pajamas removed. I thought she had enough toys, but then, at an outing to Kohls recently, she saw their Kohls Cares toys and had to have their new Llama too.
I have been somewhat ambivalent about the books. I love the way Llama loves his mama, though my husband wants to know where the other parent is. I love his grandparents, and the book where he goes on his first sleepover is one of my personal favorites. While Llama Llama can be a brat, there is usually a lesson to learn, and some of the lessons learned have been really helpful to my daughter.
I was a bit put out to see that the latest Llama Llama book was about the tooth fairy, as it is no secret in my house that I am not a fan of this particular childhood fiction. While I am fully invested in Santa, the tooth fairy can bite me. I always forget the dollar, that is if I even have one in the house. I always wake the child when trying to make the swap, which ends up in me forcing them into a middle-of-the-night potty break so I can do the exchange while they are gone. There are teeth hidden all over my house because I never know what to do with them. It’s gross. Move a stack of books—I dare you—there is probably a tooth behind there. I think I hide them so haphazardly because I want the kids to find them so we can dispense with the tooth fairy forever, but they have yet to find them. Maybe the tooth goblins have taken them. I have told them that the tooth fairy is me, they just don’t believe me. My kids’ hold on imagination is strong, and I kind of love that. Though I still hate the tooth fairy.
Llama Llama Loose Tooth Drama turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The tooth wiggles, the tooth is played with, the tooth is lost. Llama Llama contemplates substituting a piece of corn in order to earn his money but, ultimately, cannot lie. In the middle of all the drama comes a couple of pages where Llama Llama speculates on the nature of the tooth fairy. Is the fairy real? Is the fairy good? Is the fairy scary? What on earth is the point of this fairy anyway? And in his contemplation, he won me over. Not to the tooth fair—she can still bite me—but to the tale of Llama Llama and the tooth fairy. To the idea that it is good for kids to wonder about the nature of things, even if I don’t like the vehicle. This is a good thing, as my daughter has yet to lose a tooth and we will be reading this book for a very long time.
Fans of the Llama Llama series will not be disappointed in this book, and spoiler alert, Gram and Grandpa make an appearance and are just as awesome as ever. The fairy herself makes a very small appearance and is, of course, a llama. I suppose I like a llama fairy more than a real tooth fairy. This book doesn’t tug the heartstrings the way that Llama Llama Misses Mama does, but it skirts the concepts of imagination and magic nicely, and, as it turns out, is tooth-fully a great addition to the series.
GeekMom was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. The aversion to the tooth fairy and love of llamas is all our own.