The Acquisitions Table: Bobby’s Teeth

530423_0001Sarah E. Chester.  Bobby’s Teeth.  New York: American Tract Society, ca. 1873. (Swallow Stories.)

This cute chromolithographed label of a little boy decorates the cover of a humorous tale about little Bobby, who according to the book’s narrator, has teeth as “white as snow” and “even as a row of pins.” Unfortunately, Bobby uses his teeth to bite his sister while trying to eat an apple that is not his. Ashamed of his bad behavior, the little boy seeks out the “tooth man” to pull out his teeth; in response, the nineteenth-century dentist tells the boy the cause of the little troublemaker’s wickedness is in his soul, not his teeth.


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