Doctor De Soto

Written by William Steig • Illustrated by William Steig

Reviewed by Guillermo M. (age 9)

Doctor De Soto was a dentist. A very good dentist. He was a rat. He helped all the animals in the town. He helped large animals and he helped small animals. He used a lot of levers to help the big animal’s teeth stop hurting. The wife helped him with the levers by pulling the levers and making Doctor De Soto go up and into the animal’s mouth. But he did not help dangerous animals like cats, wolves, or anything else that ate mice. One day a wolf came and his tooth was hurting with pain. Doctor De Soto said “Sorry I can not help you. I do not treat animals that eat mice.” He says, “Didn’t you read my sign?”. The wife felt sorry for the wolf and told Doctor De Soto to treat the patient. She said “Let’s take the risk.” Doctor De Soto felt a little bit sad for the wolf too so he treated the patient. The wolf was pleased. Doctor De Soto told the wolf to sit on the floor. Doctor De Soto got a big ladder and climbed into the wolf’s mouth. Doctor De Soto saw a rotten tooth and he said “This tooth will have to come out”. The wife said to keep his mouth wide open. Doctor De Soto said to the wolf “I’m going to give you gas now” so when I take out your tooth you won’t feel a thing. The wolf was dreaming about eating Doctor De Soto. He thought that he tasted so yummy. Doctor De Soto and his wife pulled out the tooth with the lever. He thought if he should eat Doctor De Soto when Doctor De Soto finished the job. The wife molded a tooth of pure gold for the wolf. At eleven, the wolf came back. Doctor De Soto’s wife took a ladder and Doctor De Soto and her climbed up the ladder. The wife was carrying the big gold tooth. Doctor De Soto put the tooth inside the socket. The wolf said he loved the tooth. Doctor De Soto said I will put this magic water on your gold tooth so you won’t have a toothache. It was made only by my wife and me. Doctor De Soto said now close your mouth real tight. The wolf did. The wolf was about to eat Doctor De Soto when he realized that the magic water was really glue and couldn’t open his mouth. Doctor De Soto outsmarted the wolf and the wolf went down the stairs and to his home quietly and sadly. The end.

The lesson is that some wolves are always mischievous. Do not always trust wolves. They sometimes trick you and eat you. I think the book was good. It proves that rats are smarter than wolves. Even though rats are icky to girls and some boys they always seem to get away when you try to kill them. I don’t have a favorite animal but I think that the smartest animal is the rat because they always get away from you somehow.

This book would be good for kids that want to be dentists when they grow up. Kids who are smart and like to out think other kids would like this book too. I think kids that like wolves wouldn’t like this book but kids that don’t like wolves would like the book a little bit.

Guillermo M. is a member in New York Cares/Island School Reading Club's Fun Club (2009-2010)