Title: The Toothless Puppy: A Tale of Differences
Author(s): Karen Almon, Ashley Almon
Illustrator: Agung Nurhidayat
Publisher/Year: Dog Haus Publishing/2016
Back cover blurb: When Campbell discovers she’s not like other dogs, she goes sniffing for answers.
Like most puppies, Campbell is energetic, playful, and happy. But one day, she discovers she is missing a tooth. Right away, her mind swirls with questions: Did I lose my tooth? If I find it, can I put it back? Why can’t I be like the other dogs who have all of their teeth? Campbell worries she won’t fit in because she’s different. So she sets off to look for her missing tooth. But she’ll need help from her friends to find what she’s looking for. And maybe what she seeks isn’t really her tooth after all, but rather acceptance, reassurance, and love.
Even though the story is about a puppy, we can all relate to Campbell’s problem, can’t we? Think back to when we were kids. At some point we began to notice our differences–in how we looked, dressed, spoke, etc.–compared to other kids. But we didn’t want to be different. We wanted to be like our friends and peers, whom we sometimes perceived as being better than us. Like Campbell, being different made us feel self-conscious. We didn’t want to stand out. We wanted to fit it. We didn’t know that our differences made us unique, made us special. If we knew then what we know now, many of us, myself included, would perhaps have been much more confident.
Books like The Toothless Puppy can help kids today. Told gently, with lovable, colorful animal characters, the story assures children that it’s okay, even great, to be different.