Writing Tooth and Claus

Retired school teacher pens new book about unlikely pairing.

What happens when the Tooth Fairy meets Santa Claus?

This was the question Barb DeMartino set out to explore in her new children’s book, which was inspired by the real-life event of her 6-year-old grandson losing a tooth last Christmas Eve.

The Langley author, who is a retired schoolteacher, has always known that she wanted to write a book for kids.

DeMartino said she was saddened that in her most recent years of teaching, kids were growing up in households without any books or even a parent or loved one who had ever read aloud to them. So she made it her mission to instill a love of reading into each of her students and, along the way, she had been considering writing a book for young teens.

Instead, her first book is targeted at a younger crowd, thanks to Jamo’s lost tooth.

In “Tooth Fairy’s Jolly Adventure,” a blue-haired tooth fairy stumbles into Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The pair work together to help each other out and fulfill their respective duties.

Although the manuscript took only three days to write, DeMartino said the publication process took about seven months. She worked online with an illustrator from New Zealand to develop Tooth Fairy’s character.

“Creating her look was such a kick,” DeMartino said.

“I wanted an unconventional Tooth Fairy so we came up with her having blue hair and a bit of spunk. Since she would be meeting Santa in the snow on a rooftop, I didn’t want her in typical fairy shoes. This is wintertime and she needs to be in boots.”

DeMartino was able to visit Jamo recently and surprised him by reading the book aloud to him.

And another holiday-centered book is already in the works.

“To make it fair, I am including his sister in the next book, ‘Tooth Fairy’s Hoppin’ Adventure,’ where the Tooth Fairy meets the Easter Bunny,” DeMartino said.

“Since I have six grandchildren, I may be busy for a while,” she added with a laugh.

Someday she would like to get back to writing a chapter book for middle-grade readers.

“I’m just proud of her,” her husband, Dan, said. “I think her work ethic is incredible. She gets something in her mind and goes with it.”

“She’s been wanting to do this ever since we’ve been together,” he added.

DeMartino said writing the book has been a fun distraction, especially during COVID.

During a normal year, she would be doing classroom visits and readings and other public events to promote the book.

She is already anticipating the next holiday season.

“I’m really looking forward to the 2021 holiday season, to be much more active and out there and meeting with people, especially children,” she said.

“Tooth Fairy’s Jolly Adventure” is available at Linds, Target, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.

The book was officially published at the end of October by self-publishing company BookBaby.