My son has been bitten twice in daycare and once by a playdate friend. One was pretty bad in fact leaving a yucky bruise on his face, fortunately not drawing any blood though. I am glad that as of yet he has not decided that biting others is ok, but I figured, when we saw this book at the library, that is wouldn't hurt to read it anyways. Teeth Are Not for Biting
is written by Elizabeth Verdick
and it has a simple idea of telling children what teeth are for, and how they aren't for biting. And it explains that if you do feel like biting what you can do instead. Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! Teeth are strong and sharp.
begins this book. A family is sitting at a table and the reader sees a mom, two children, and a toddler in a booster seat.
The book has a pattern of two pages about something teeth do, another two pages about teeth, and then two pages saying "teeth are not for biting. Ouch! Biting hurts." The book talks about how teeth are good for chewing, how children have 20 teeth, that teeth can hurt as they come in but there are other options.
Some suggestions for alternatives to biting are chewing a chew toy, drinking a drink, getting a hug, telling a grown-up and taking a break. It also says if someone bites you not to bite back but to tell an adult.
The last two pages of the book are for parents and caregivers. It has tips for teething and tips for biting. It gives ideas on how to help sooth teething children and how to act with two children, one who has been bitten and the other who did the biting. I found the information helpful and well written.
The illustrations are by Marieka Heinlen who has worked with Verdick on several other similarly themed books. I can't tell exactly how they are created but they use vibrant bright colors that fill the entire page. The text is either in black or white depending on which color will stand out the most against the backgrounds, which range from blue to green to purple. The people in each scene appear to be all different races and ethnicities and different ages and there are even some dogs and cats. There are lots of teeth in each scene, because the author wants us to know that smiles are what teeth are for, not biting. There are quite a few things in the backgrounds that allow me to work on vocabulary with my son too, like trees, hats, blocks, blankets, and cars. My one year old son and I have read this a few things and he has enjoyed the pictures.
Like I said before I can happily say that my son has as of yet not bitten anyone. I can't say whether it has anything to do with this book, because I think this book is more geared towards two and up with suggestions like "use your words" but it can only help. One thing a friend of mine with an 18 month old pointed out is that she uses the word "bite" at meal time asking her daughter if she wants a bite of something and her daughter will actually ask for a "bi" or "bite" while they are eating. So as you're reading this book you might want to add "people" to specify what types of bites are bad.
I recommend this book, and glad that I don't have a problem with biting, will keep an eye out for her other books if any of the other problems the duo writes about does become one.