The Essential Fairy

When Ruth loses her tooth during the COVID-19 lockdown, she expects a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

When the Tooth Fairy doesn’t show, Ruth takes matters into her own hands and writes to the Prime Minister …

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made headlines around the world during her country’s first Covid-19 lockdown when she declared the Tooth Fairy an essential worker.

This light-hearted moment, in what was otherwise a tense time for the nation, has been captured in a children’s book by author, Anna Kenna.

The Essential Fairy tells the story of six-year-old Ruth who loses her front tooth in the midst of the lockdown and is dismayed when the Tooth Fairy doesn’t show up to collect it. Her dad shrugs off her concerns but Ruth is certain there must be some mistake.

Ruth frowned at her dad. It just couldn’t be right.
Fairies are clean and work only at night.
With the right PPE, such as gloves and a mask,
they’d be super-hygienic when performing their task.

When Ruth can’t get the grown-ups in her life to take the matter seriously, she writes to the Prime Minister.

Written by Anna Kenna and illustrated by Tim Hunt

$20.00 incl. GST

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This book for ages 4-6 is illustrated by Nelson artist Tim Hunt and features Val, a jandal-wearing tooth fairy with wild hair and tattoos.

“This is very much a Kiwi story,” says Anna. “And I think Tim has created just the right character in Val.”

– Upbeat rhyme; fun to read
– Clear, strong illustrations
– Young girl role model; strong child’s voice
– Topical: COVID-19 and the important role of essential workers.

Kiwi author Anna Kenna Anna Kenna

Find out more about Kāpiti Coast author Anna Kenna on her author profile.


Additional information

Dimensions 29 × 21 cm

Softcover edition

First published




Page count


Published by

Tirimoana Publishing


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