I Lost My Tooth in Africa – Baba Wague Diakite and Penda Diakite

i lost my tooth in africa.jpg
image from amazon.com


  • Age Range: 3 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439662265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439662260


EXCERPT from indiebound.org:

Coretta Scott King Honor author/artist Baba Wague Diakite and his 12-year-old daughter, Penda, create a charming, original adventure story about losing a first tooth while visiting family in Mali.

More than anything, Amina wants to lose her loose tooth while visiting her family in Mali, West Africa. Only then can she put it under a gourd for the African tooth fairy, who will exchange it for two chickens! Happily this happens, and even better, the chickens lay eggs. But will the eggs hatch before it’s time to return home to America?

In this fresh, spontaneous story that is infused with close family warmth, Penda June Diakite joins forces with her award-winning author/artist father to give a charming peek at everyday life in Mali.


Notable Acknowledgements: Written by Coretta Scott King Honor Author Baba Wague Diakite


Rationale for Inclusion: One of the appealing features of this book is that it depicts a story in Africa that shifts away from the stereotypical storyline that emphasizes the exclusive use of animals. I lost my Tooth in Africa, provides a perspective of Africa that places a much greater focused on family life and communal relationships. By reading this book, children have a chance to learn about some of the African traditions specific to the country of Mali, such as what they do when a child loses a tooth. Children can also get a window into some of the elements of African life and culture, which can expand their overall knowledge of the world, and help some of them to get rid of the common misconception that Africa is a rural landmass that is mostly made up of exotic animals. This book also provides a valuable mirror that African children can use to see themselves and their culture being positively depicted in popular children’s literature.

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