Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


S. E. Richey
Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy
S. E. Richey, author
Lulu has lost her first tooth and cannot wait for her first visit from the tooth fairy. Trixie has been training and training and cannot wait to finally become an official tooth fairy. Everything would be perfect, but mishap after mishap prevents Trixie from reaching Lulu's destination. Will Lulu finally get a visit from the Tooth Fairy? Will Trixie finally become an official Tooth Fairy? This humorous and heartwarming tale encourages children to believe in magic and that everything is possible with a lot of willpower. Written in a dual narrative format from the perspective of Lulu and her tooth fairy, the story entertainingly weaves the themes of cause and effect, learning from mistakes, and trusting in oneself. It also introduces children to different tooth collectors and tooth traditions of the world, thus serving as a mirror and a window into other cultures.

An illustrated depiction of a young girl’s first visit from the Tooth Fairy-in training.

S.E. Richey’s LULU AND THE MISSING TOOTH FAIRY is a fun, illustrated portrayal of a young girl’s first visit from the mythical fantasy figure. The story begins when five-year-old Lulu finally experiences her first wiggly tooth. Overcome with excitement—after all, a wiggly tooth means a trip from the Tooth Fairy—she begins fantasizing about what she will spend her money on (a pony, of course). Determined to speed up the process, Lulu resorts to an old-fashioned tooth-pulling trick and soon has her first tooth in hand. Meanwhile, a hard-working fairy-in-training named Trixie receives her first assignment. Unfortunately, a classic case of user error sends Trixie to the wrong country, a mistake that results in a disappointed Lulu waking only to find her tooth still under her pillow. Determined to fix her mistake, Trixie braves a blizzard and flies straight on through the night in order to finish her first assignment. The story concludes with a message from the author explaining that the Puerto Rican version of the Tooth Fairy is a mouse named El Ratoncito—yes, the very same rat that helped correct Trixie’s course.

There are plenty of things to like about LULU AND THE MISSING TOOTH FAIRY. For one, Richey utilizes a split-page format to tell Trixie and Lulu’s stories concurrently—a choice that ultimately adds to the story’s momentum. Another highlight is Richey’s inclusion of technology by way of the ‘Fairy Positioning System,’ a clever McGuffin that wouldn’t be out of place in a Pixar movie. Richey’s narrative also demonstrates a number of important lessons. Lulu’s portion of the story conveys the value of patience, while Trixie’s plight is an exercise in perseverance. And the all-important illustrations, courtesy of Jhon Ortiz, are yet another selling point. With bold, saturated colors and a stylized font adorning each page, LULU AND THE MISSING TOOTH FAIRY is as visually satisfying as it is endearing. Still, the book’s biggest benefit just might be the built-in excuse it provides those parents who’ve failed in their Tooth Fairy ‘duty.’ After all, if it can happen to Trixie, it can happen to anyone.

The act of placing a recently lost baby tooth under the pillow in the hopes that a fairy will replace it with a gift is an enduring tradition in Western Culture. But as Richey points out, each and every culture puts its own spin on the fairy tale. In fact, it’s just one of the many small details that elevate LULU AND THE MISSING TOOTH FAIRY. And in a genre where adorable characters, a fun storyline, and beautiful illustrations are par for the proverbial course, it’s ultimately the ‘details’ that matter the most.

A fun, fresh take on a time-honored tradition that just so happens to offer a compassionate built-in excuse for forgetful parents everywhere, S.E. Richey’s LULU AND THE MISSING TOOTH FAIRY succeeds on all fronts.

~James Weiskittel for IndieReader


Kirkus Review

A lost, inexperienced tooth fairy keeps a 5-year-old child waiting for her money in this debut picture book.

Lulu, a bespectacled White girl about to lose her first tooth, plans to spend her reward on a pony. At the same time, Trixie looks forward to her first assignment as a tooth fairy. When Lulu’s tooth pops out (with the help of a slammed door and string), Trixie plugs her assignment into her Fairy Positioning System and heads out. But instead of going to San Juan Island, Washington, she arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There, she meets Ratoncito, who collects the teeth of kids in Puerto Rico, and realizes she has to try again. After another false start, Trixie finally arrives, and Lulu uses her tooth fairy money to get a playmate—a hobby horse. The parallel stories of Lulu and Trixie only intersect in the one moment where both are in the same room in a sweet two-page spread. Ortiz’s digital cartoon illustrations give the impression of watercolors, with soft edges and invisible line work, presenting lush environments for Trixie’s travels. Richey’s accessible text features several vocabulary words that may challenge emergent readers (cavitiesdrenched). Some design choices add an extra oomph to action words like looped. The messages that a fairy should never give up and that different places have their own distinctive tooth traditions come through beautifully.

A clever, humorous, and joyful tooth story.