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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Being Bree: Bree and the Loose Tooth Worries is a story book for children, grades K-3, written by Christine Sromek Laforet and illustrated by Lisa Rush. Bree was about to lose a tooth. Her mom said it was hanging by a thread which made Bree think all manner of crazy things. Could you sew teeth into your mouth? How would you get the thread through those hard little teeth? After she completed her math test in class, she had plenty of free time to think about that dangling tooth and wonder when it would finally decide to come loose. Bree always had thoughts running through her mind. Her doctor explained that they were her brain gifts and helped her learn stuff. When her thoughts got too involved in the actual problems of losing that tooth, she remembered to do her mindfulness exercises and took a deep breath. She had calm-down steps that always seemed to help when her thoughts ran away with her.
Her classmate, Lauren, had lost her tooth in school the day before. The nurse gave her a little box for the tooth and a sticker. What if Bree loses her tooth in school? Will she get a box and a sticker as well? Lauren showed her the shiny ring the tooth fairy gave her for that tooth. Bree loved it and began to hope that the tooth fairy would give her a ring as well. Lauren was also setting up a club for girls who had bling like her ring, and Bree knew she wanted to be a part of that club. But then, as she was imagining herself wearing that fancy ring and being part of the Girls with Bling club, the most awful thing happened.
Being Bree: Bree and the Loose Tooth Worries shares the experiences of a gifted child whose lost-tooth worries suddenly take an unexpected turn. I love how the author teaches young readers the techniques for regaining a sense of calm and control, and her recipe for making Worry Dust is brilliant. Laforet also addresses bullying and the exclusionary tactics bullies may use to influence and control their peers in the schoolyard. While Lauren is not your usual schoolyard bully, her establishing herself as queen of the Girls with Bling raises issues that the author, and Bree, address beautifully. Lisa Rush’s illustrations are marvelous; they instantly had me envisioning Bree, her mom and her friends. Her talent in depicting facial expressions is clearly shown on every page. Being Bree: Bree and the Loose Tooth Worries is most highly recommended.