What the Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy

What the DickensBy Gregory Maguire

On a dark and stormy night, after the power has gone out and the food is almost gone, the Ormsby children are tired and frightened.  Their parents have left them in the care of Gage, an older cousin, and the rest of their neighbourhood has been evacuated.  Determined to be home when their parents finally return, Dinah, Zeke and Rebecca Ruth are resigned to waiting out the storm.  What could possibly get their minds off their predicament?  How about a story?

So begins What the Dickens, the story of an orphan skibbereen.  Skibbereen are a race of tiny creatures who are never seen by humans.  They are the world’s are tooth fairies — after all, one tooth fairy wouldn’t be able to handle all those teeth – and they also grant wishes to human children.  But an orphan skibbereen doesn’t know any of that.  Alone in a tin can, he is discovered by the cat, McCavity.  Before McCavity can have his way with him, a human child finds him and names him What the Dickens.

After some time on his own, What the Dickens meets Pepper, a fellow skibbereen on a mission to replace a tooth with a shiny coin.  What the Dickens follows Pepper to her colony, Undertree Common, a vast expanse of skibberee living space located underneath an old tree stump.  There he learns about his kinsmen and embarks on a wild adventure…

The stories of the Ormsby kids and the skibbereen intertwine in this fantasy adventure that pays homage to the art of storytelling.  Suitable for grades 3 and up.