The Starving Bibliophile

Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).

What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy

Summary: On the darkest night, amidst a terrifying storm, Dinah’s parents go missing. With supplies dwindling and worry growing, Dinah and her brother and sister listen to their cousin Gage tell them an unlikely story – about tooth fairies, known as skibbereen, who are living in warring colonies right in the neighborhood. What-the-Dickens, a newly hatched orphan skibberee finds he has an attraction to teeth, a crush on a cat named McCavity, and a penchant for getting into trouble. One day he happens upon a feisty girl skibberee named Pepper working as an Agent of Change — trading coins for teeth — and learns of a dutiful tribe of tooth fairies to which he hopes to belong. As his tale unfolds, however, both What-the-Dickens and Dinah come to see that the world is both richer and less sure than they ever imagined.

Written by the allegorical genius Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, I expected for this book to contain some sort of allegory. Unfortunately it doesn’t. It may have to do with the fact that it’s technically a children’s book, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. I enjoyed learning about the Skibberee society a lot but I felt that the original story (since the book is a story within a story) lacked a certain “oomph” that I think could have been present. Dinah’s story got lost and the line between reality and fiction got pretty obscured. And at the beginning of the story Dinah’s parents have vanished but Maguire makes it seem like it’s some sort of mystery that is going to have to be solved but it turns out that their parents just left because the mom is a diabetic and needed insulin. The book kind of ends a little abruptly too, but overall I still enjoyed it.

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2011 by in Books and tagged , , , , .
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