And That’s the Tooth is Terri Fields fourth book with Arbordale. She has written about dangerous animals, making tortillas and tornadoes. This month she releases her first photographic nonfiction book with us, and kids are sure to chomp on these facts.
But we wanted to go behind the book and learn a little more about Terri’s writing process. Here is that interview.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
From the time I was a little girl.
You have written many types of books; do you have a favorite genre of book to write? Or read?
No. I love to read, and I like to read different genres. I think it helps me be more creative to write different types of books.
Why teeth? What inspired a picture book on types of teeth?
It’s thrilling when a baby gets their very first tooth and a significant moment in most children’s lives when the tooth fairy arrives. Those things helped me see the significance of the topic, but it was a random question that actually inspired this book. A six-year-old chomping on popcorn said, “I’m sure glad I have teeth to chew this! Do all animals have teeth?” I had no idea, but it led me to start investigating animal teeth as a topic for a book. I love puns, so “And That’s the Tooth!” popped into my head for a title.
The question answer format is different from your fictional picture books, how was the writing process different for this book?
I did a lot of research for this book. In trying to decide which animals to feature, I researched about thirty different animals before choosing the ones in this book. While I didn’t have to develop characters for AND THAT’S THE TOOTH, I had to create riddles and hints that would be hard enough not to give away the answers, but not so hard that kids wouldn’t want to take a guess. I think this format will encourage children to look at the page carefully and then predict the answer. I’m excited about that because prediction is an important reading strategy.
Did you find any surprising facts as you researched this book? I think a lot of the facts in the book will surprise both the children and adults.
And That’s the Tooth releases on February 22nd in paperback and digital editions. You can preorder from arbordalepublishing.com or from your local bookstore.