THE TALE OF THE TOOTH MOUSE


BY GEORGE H. BENTZ

WHY WE LOVED THIS PROJECT


We absolutely loved working with author George H. Bentz on The Tale of the Tooth Mouse. He is a retired pediatric dentist who has seen first-hand how difficult it is for kids to lose their teeth. George was eager to build a team with top industry experience and learn from their feedback.


George turned out to be one of our favorite authors to work with. For one, he requested that the kids of Izzard Ink’s CEO be added to the book, as his oldest was about to lose her first tooth. Second, upon completion George send out a thoughtful gift to those at Izzard Ink, to thank them for going the extra mile. George is a very sweet man.

the tale of the tooth mouse

Izzard in Action

Editing

Almost every children’s book manuscript that we receive needs work. It is difficult to condense the message and avoid describing scenes that would be better told through illustration.


The Tale of the Tooth Mouse was no different, which is why we enlisted the help of our editor Jennifer, who has over a decade of experience with Scholastic and worked on many of their best-selling books.


It took four or five rounds of editing and dialogue between the author and editor, but the final product was a powerful and concise message that kids ages 4 to 7 love and understand.

Cover


The cover for The Tale of the Tooth Mouse was straightforward. George knew exactly what he wanted. The cover designer/art director just needed to find the right angles, fonts, and placement—which she did. The final product was perfect, capturing George’s vision and tailored to appeal to his readers.

Hurdles


For illustrations, George wanted to use a local artist who had experience with cartoons and caricatures. However, it was the illustrator’s first children’s book, and after a few sketches, many with just simple smiley faces, it became very evident he was not the right fit for a children’s book. The illustrator did not even account for any text to be placed on the pages.

Finding the Right Illustrator


  • We brought in an experienced art director who worked for both Jim Henson’s The Muppets and Disney’s children’s book publisher, to help the first-time book illustrator.

  • Ultimately, the decision was made to move to a different illustrator.

  • The art director found a professional book illustrator and negotiated the contract, securing the project’s full copyright for the author.

  • The illustrator’s attention to detail, from the initial sketches to the final product, is evident in the polished printed book.

Accomplishment Overview:

Izzard Ink held a reading for a group of kindergarteners, many of whom had just lost a tooth. We were able to see how the message in the book about getting older was so well received by the young audience—it proved the author had accomplished his goal.


BookLife/Publisher’s Weekly scored the book with all A’s, saying:

“Sure to please young and old readers alike with its whimsy and enchantment, especially in the playful interactions between mouse and children, Dr. Bentz’s lovable tale is a welcome addition to any child’s bookshelf.”

George H. Bentz DDS

“Izzard Ink provides a bridge from the dreams of would-be authors to sharing that dream with the world.”—George H. Bentz DDS

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Wherever you are in your journey, we are here to help and guide you along toward publishing success.


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