Eventually, Danziger's narration brings untidy second grader, Amber Brown, around to winning the tidy desk award.
Amber's Grade Two teacher invents "Deskarina" the desk fairy, who is similar to "Dentalina" the Tooth Fairy. Amber decides she wants Deskarina's Clean Desk Award and, after some false starts and a major room tidying at home, finally wins the ribbon. Orderliness as virtue is diminished when applied to the paltry goal of a tidy desk. Told in the present tense, the story is boringly narrated and padded with mundane events such as snack time.
Punished for her petty sins of pride, Princess Prunella is plagued by a repugnant purple peanut nose –that will only become normal if she serves others three times.
Atwood perceived publishers' presumption that page after page of 'p' alliteration points to polished and printable children's literature. 'Prunella' is punished for pointless pride by the perennial, old fairy in plebian apparel. Prunella's nose turns peanut-shaped, purple, and swells. Relief, of course, requires three 'good deeds' for anyone other than herself. That Prunella marginally values her beneficiaries doesn't redeem this lame work.
Arthur deceives D.W. in her own effort to deceive the tooth fairy.
While the story is an appropriate way of debunking the Tooth Fairy game for children, the title of the story is surprisingly misleading. In the story D.W. attempts to trick the tooth fairy by placing a shark's tooth under her pillow. Knowing his parents do not know, Arthur decides to be the Tooth Fairy and makes the money-for-tooth swap, deceiving D.W.
Though his son asks for the "truth" about the tooth fairy, a father explains that fairies used to exist, that humans and modern technology drove the fairies away, and that serious effort can make the tooth fairy real.
Gaby asks Dad (the author) to tell the truth: is there a tooth fairy or is it just parents? The author's 'truth' holds that fairies once existed, but vanished as humans gained control of their environment. Further, if one "tries really hard" to believe,the tooth fairy's voice still appears in parents' minds suggesting they provide small treasures in exchange for a baby tooth. Belief "must come from you, and you alone". Thus, Alexander urges fantasy and whim upon children, just as they are seeking reality and reason.