Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books

Doctor DeSoto

Spring 1983 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: William Steig
ISBN: 0590406906
Hardcover Price: $14.10
Paperback Price: $5.95
A very cheerful story about a mouse-dentist who treats mammals bigger than himself, wearing rubbers to keep his feet dry when he's in their mouths. Steig's cartoony color illustrations make up the bulk of the book, and they are nothing short of urbane and funny, including a lovely double-spread of the tiny dentist being hoisted on a pulley by his wife-assistant so he can explore the teeth of a large donkey. The dentist's office and its furnishings, the city streets, the animal patients themselves are humorously observed by the artist, who also makes the most of the scale differential between Dr. DeSoto and those he treats. The climax comes when a dapperly-dressed but hungry fox comes for a new gold tooth, and the quick-witted dentist saves himself from ingestion by means of his professional skills. It's another story of wit and pluck winning out over knavery, beguilingly done - with (just maybe) a subliminal theme of children vs. adults.
Review   ©1983 Parents' Choice

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