Willy Heath, You Brush Your Teeth

This is a silly story I wrote years ago when my daughter was learning to read. This year I polished it up and read it in my son’s class. He and his classmates illustrated it for me. I created a pdf for the kids including all their artwork. A smaller file size version is free on Smashwords if you want to see a sampling of their pictures. Just for fun, here’s the text of the story. 🙂

willyWilly Heath, You Brush Your Teeth!

Willy Heath is six years old. He likes to drive his trucks. He likes to dig in the sandbox with his friends. He likes to ride his bike and play on the swings at the park. But Willy hates to brush his teeth.

At the end of the day, Willy puts on his pajamas and crawls into bed. His mom calls up the stairs, “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” But Willy won’t brush his teeth.

By morning, they have all turned green. Willy’s big sister joins him at the breakfast table. When Willy bites into his toast, his sister makes an ugly face. “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” But Willy won’t brush his teeth.

By the time he leaves for school, little tufts of grass have grown in Willy’s mouth. The bus driver stops the bus and opens the door. Willy climbs in with a cheerful hello. The driver shakes his head. “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” But Willy won’t brush his teeth.

At school, Willy enters his classroom and smiles at his teacher. Little pink flowers fall from his lips. His teacher sighs and makes him sweep them up. “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” But Willy won’t brush his teeth.

During recess, little twigs with bright shiny leaves sprout from Willy’s mouth. His friends dance around him and laugh. “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” But Willy won’t brush his teeth.

By noon, the twigs have grown into tall branches. Noisy birds swoop over the tables in the lunch room and roost above Willy’s head. The lunch lady points her spoon at him. “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” But Willy won’t brush his teeth.

In gym class, squirrels play hide-and-seek among the leaves and drop acorns on the children’s heads. The gym teacher blows his whistle. “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” But Willy won’t brush his teeth.

In the library, monkeys swing from branch to branch. When they climb the shelves and start throwing books, the librarian asks Willy to leave. “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” she whispers. But Willy won’t brush his teeth.

In the hallway, a leopard roars from Willy’s highest limb. Nervous monkeys leap and chatter. Squirrels play tag. Birds chirp and flutter. And little pink flower petals litter the carpet. The principal frowns. “Our school is not a zoo. Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!”

But Willy can’t brush his teeth. He sits down in the hallway and cries.

The principal phones the dentist. “Please hurry!” she says.

When the dentist arrives, he chases away the animals, cuts down the branches, picks the flowers, mows the grass, and hands Willy a toothbrush. “Willy Heath, you brush your teeth!” he orders.

“Okay,” Willy agrees. And he does. Then he smiles at the dentist, the principal, the librarian, the gym teacher, the lunch lady, his friends, his teacher, the bus driver, his sister, and his mom with his shiny white teeth.

6 thoughts on “Willy Heath, You Brush Your Teeth

  1. Michelle, this is a wonerful picture book idea. You should revise it some and submit it to a publisher. It is so unique! It reminds me of the Julia Cook books I review. Please think about it. It only requires minior tweeking.

    1. A few years ago, I sent this to dozens of places: magazines, book publishers, agents–I even sent it to a dental publication. It’s been through a thousand revisions. Longer; shorter; short, short. I’m not too keen on starting over, especially when novels are my true love. I’m glad you liked it, though. 🙂

      1. Seriously? You should try the PB branch for a LITTLE bit. I want to write novels, but PBs help – you learn to be imaginative, quick, and detailed-in-less-words – All in 100- words! 😉

  2. I mean the one and only picture book that I’ll let the world see. 😉 I did a lot of them several years ago, but it just wasn’t my niche. Currently, I have seven novel ideas in mind, and I’d much rather spend my time getting those on paper.

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