Airmail to the Moon

Illustrated by Stephen Gammell

My name is Ora Mae Cotton of Crabapple Orchard, and last night somebody stole my tooth...somebody so crooked they screw their socks on every morning. And when I catch 'em, I'm gonna open up a can of gotcha and send 'em airmail to the moon!"

Ora Mae is cork-poppin' mad. Somebody took her tooth, and she's high-nigh sure it wasn't the tooth fairy. She goes to Mama, Dadaw, brother BoDean, and her sister Kelsey Ann - but nobody has seen her lost tooth. Ora Mae won't give up until she finds the "lop-eared rascal" who stole it!

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"fun for the eye and the ear" - Booklist (starred review)

"rib-tickling repartee . . . unstintingly colorful" - Kirkus

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International Reading Association/Children's Book Council Children's Choice Winner, 1989.

State children's choice award nominations in Missouri, Nevada, Georgia, Washington, Nebraska.

Produced by Looking Glass Theater, RI.

Trumpet Book Club selection.

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Through your local bookseller, or on-line at:

Hardcover: Holiday House, NY - ISBN 0-8234-0683-0
Paperback: Holiday House, NY - ISBN 0-8234-0754-3

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As a kindergarten teacher in Sandpoint, Idaho, I saw lots of kids lose their first tooth, and heard lots of stories about visits from the tooth fairy. I made a note to myself to maybe write a story about losing a first tooth, and even tried a couple of times, but the story wasn't going anywhere.

Then one day at school I was looking for my pencil, and was sure someone had picked it up my mistake. I had the kids look in their pencil boxes for it. Nope, no pencil. We looked under tables and chairs. Nope, no pencil. Then I had this disturbing thought: Had one of my students taken it and was being dishonest about it? I didn't want to believe they would, but still, my pencil was no where to be found. I was standing there wondering what to do next, when one of the kids in my class looked up at me and said,"Mr. Birdseye, what is that behind your ear?" I reached up, and guess what . . . That's right, it was my pencil. I'd stuck it up there and totally forgotten about it. Boy, did I feel silly!

Later, I thought, "What if instead of a missing pencil, it was a missing first tooth? Aha! The missing pencil became a missing tooth, and AIRMAIL TO THE MOON finally blasted off.

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From The Story

Aha! I thought. He's a real thinker, my Dadaw is. Why, he even sells watermelons to the grocery store. He knows mighty near everything. I heard Dadaw before I spied him. He was out by the tire swing shaving and singing at the same time (which is mighty dangerous if you ask me). Half his face was shaving cream. The other half was "as smooth as a baby's belly," as he liked to say.