Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Lost My Tooth in Africa

Written by Penda Diakite
Illustrated by Baba Wague Diakite
Most enjoyed by Kindergartners through 3rd graders

Losing a first tooth is so exciting. Under the pillow it goes and overnight, the tooth fairy comes and leaves something special - perhaps a small toy, some money, or a candy treat. But if you lived in Africa, you'd get something completely different yet unique to African culture.

Amina travels from her home in Portland, Oregon, to visit relatives in Mali, Africa. The trip is long, but she discovers during the journey that her tooth is loose. She hopes to lose it in Africa because if she does, she'll receive a chicken from the African tooth fairy! The big day arrives, and despite the long wait, Amina gets a chicken and a rooster. Within days, a couple of white eggs appear but will Amina be in Africa long enough to see the eggs hatch?

'I Lost My Tooth in Africa' was written by young Penda Diakite based on the real life experience of her sister, Amina. It's a great introduction to the way a favorite childhood tradition is celebrated in another culture. Since children all over the world lose their teeth, why not research how the tooth fairy visits them? This book gives you a start with Africa. What about India? Or Germany? A little research is a nifty way to learn some geography and to discover a common bond kids world-wide share.

While you're researching, try the recipe provided in the back for the onion sauce Amina shares with her extended family. There is also a glossary for the African words used in the text. Expand your world and extend the boundaries to Africa as you enjoy this story!

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