The Tooth

The Tooth
Momentous Institute
By Momentous Institute Nov 30, 2015

We love The Tooth by Avi Slodovnick. It’s a beautiful story about a young girl’s trip to the dentist. On her way in to the office, she sees a homeless man and is intrigued. But she is rushed along to her appointment, where she learns she has a cavity and the dentist has to remove her tooth. Her mother tells her to be sure to put it under her pillow so the tooth fairy will come. On the way out, she runs over to the man and drops the tooth into his shoe box, and tells him to put it under his pillow that night.

 
Marissa’s sweet act of kindness reminds us that young children are naturally curious about the world and are so often paying attention to things we, as adults, don’t even notice. Marissa looks out from the window of the dentist’s office and watches as people walk right past the homeless man, a few dropping coins in his shoe box, and others just walking right over him.
 
This is a wonderful story about empathy and kindness. It would be a great story to read to introduce the idea of doing service projects or identifying people who could use our help. Feel free to follow it up with an age-appropriate discussion on homelessness and how we can serve the homeless.
 
Here’s a video of the story read by Annette Bening:

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