I Lost My Tooth in Africa

by Penda Diakite and Baba Wagué Diakité

Amina’s family is visiting relatives in Mali, and she’s hopeful that... read more

Amina’s family is visiting relatives in Mali, and she’s hopeful that her loose tooth will fall out before they have to return home to Oregon. In Mali, her father explained, children who lose a tooth are given a chicken by the African tooth fairy. Amina is thrilled when she wakes up one morning and discovers a space where her tooth used to be. Later that day she finds not one chicken but two—a hen and a rooster—under a calabash gourd. Soon the hen has laid eggs, and just before Amina leaves for America the first chick hatches. Marvelous details of the time Amina spends with her extended family—things they do, foods they eat—enliven this story grounded in her appealing, first-person voice. Penned by teenager Penda Diakité, about her younger sister’s experiences on one of their family trips to Mali, the picture book is illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité, the father of both girls. The elder Diakité’s richly hued artwork, comprised of hand-painted ceramic tiles, features his trademark elements of whimsy. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

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