The Tooth, Des Hunt, HarperCollins, paperback, 176 pages, $16.99
Des Hunt’s lively action novels for boys always feature a tech-savvy lad meeting an interesting creature during a quest in dramatic scenery, and The Tooth certainly puts horse-loving Tim into the Hawkes Bay hill country to seek dinosaur remains. Yet, there is something new in The Tooth – verse!
Tim’s great grandmother writes songs, so the prologue to this adventure is told in ‘The Ballad of Wee Timmy Thomas’, while Tim gets to sing another of her ballads – about the Kaimanawa horses, which play a part in the story. The rest of the story, told more conventionally, follows Tim and his friend Mits as they apply scientific logic to his childhood memories of a fossil tooth to deduce its location. They’re in a race against time because a dam is being filled, and some rough types are horning in. There are those horses as well. A perfect book for boys who don’t like reading.
This review first appeared in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand on 28th December 2007.