The original story about Batina was intended to be a picture book. It had 1078 words – words that I loved. It was tentatively titled, The Real Tooth Fairy Story – What Happens to all those Teeth? In this version, Batina did not have any unusual characteristics nor did she have any fairy friends. The whole story centered on what happens to well-brushed teeth. It introduced the concept that a well-brushed tooth makes fairy dust, the very dust that enables tooth fairies to fly. Each fairy delivered a tooth to Mr. Gizmo for inspection. All the teeth declared well-brushed were transferred to the manufacturing department. They were placed into the Super-Duper Magic Dust-Making Machine where they underwent a magical transformation that produced canisters of rainbow colored fairy dust – one tooth, one canister, for each fairy. That was it.
When I presented this story for a professional review, I learned that if I intended the story to be a picture book it would need to be cut in half because 1078 words was too many. Ideally, a picture book should have around 500 words – give or take a few hundred. The idea of cutting the story in half was more than I could handle. Fortunately, there was a second option. I was encouraged to increase the word count, add a narrative arc and make it a chapter book. That was great advice – advice I decided to take.
Batina’s Best First Day now has nine chapters, over 4000 words, and includes a narrative arc. Below is the structure used to transform the original work into a chapter book.