A contagious smile causes Suzy to stop smiling – after all – she doesn’t want anyone to catch it!
Title: Suzy Dogfish Gets Braces
Series: Suzy’s Smile
Author: Momma Dot
Illustrator: Pascal Gaggelli
ISBN: 9780996766722 Language: English
Themes: sharks, family, braces/dental hygiene
What’s it about?
Suzy is a shark who has been adopted by a family of dogfish. The story follows her growing up and then a trip to the dentist to be told she needs braces. Nothing worries Suzy until the doctor tells her that her “smile is contagious” and so she doesn’t want to smile anymore.
Love rhyming books and this one flows really well. The story continually moves along at a steady pace. Love, love the size writing! It’s big, it’s clear, it’s so easy to read! And let’s not forget the ultra-fun illustrations that work perfectly with the story.
It’s contagious? LOL
Okay, so if you follow the website then you would be well aware that I have a shark-obsessed son – he loves sharks. Of course, when this book arrived in the mail I barely got it out of the envelope and he had spied a shark on the cover and had to read it straight away. So after 3 days I finally pried the book away from my kids to actually read it myself!
This is a really charming book that doesn’t focus on the negative side of braces. I can remember as a child braces being a horrid scary thing people got and admittedly I was supposed to get braces (after a jaw realignment, eeek – scary stuff to a 13 year old) but never did. So in that sense it really shows that while Suzy had brushed her teeth sometimes we need dental work and a dentist isn’t a scary person. It shows that braces are there to help her.
Of course, this story interestingly also includes a couple of other teaching points. Suzy is adopted into a family of dogfish and this is put in a positive light that although she is different from her family she is still very much loved and accepted. I haven’t come across many books that include an adopted child as the main character so that is a definite plus for this story.
Another thing is of course Suzy’s interpretation of “contagious” – isn’t the English language grand? But really how easy is it to misunderstand a saying like that if you haven’t heard it before. This could be a great discussion point about literal vs figurative meaning and then delve further into idiom usage for literacy lessons.
Overall, a very enjoyable book with a lot of elements that can easily be tied into literacy and health lessons. Here’s a read aloud of the book but I do recommend purchasing a copy because it is stunning.