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I Lost My Tooth in Africaby Penda Diakite
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"The creator of The Magic Gourd teams up with his teenage daughter for this story, based on the time the author's younger sister, Amina, actually did lose a tooth in Mali, while visiting their father's family. 'My dad says if you lose a tooth in Africa and put it under a gourd, you will get a chicken from the African Tooth Fairy!... So I try tricks with my tongue to help it come out faster,' writes Diakit, narrating as her sister, Amina. As the heroine waits for the tooth to come out, she also describes a fascinating daily rhythm within her paternal grandmother's African home, depicted as a walled compound. 'Aunt Kadja has made my favorite dinner. It's rice and onion sauce with African eggplant and tiny noodles. We all eat together around one big bowl. Everyone eats with their right hand.' After dinner, neighbors come by to play games and tell stories. With often whimsical touches, Baba Wagu Diakit illustrates a vibrant life among banana palms, birds and brightly dressed relatives and friends. Patterned borders surround each illustration, created on a ceramic tile (e.g., feathers and eggs decorate the scene of Amina's new hen laying eggs; even loose teeth come into play). Young readers may well be intrigued by how universal a milestone it is to lose a tooth, while learning the unique lifestyle of this warm and welcoming West African family. Ages 4-8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Inspired by her little sister when they returned to America from visiting their family in Mali, West Africa, Penda Diakit joins forces with her Coretta Scott King Honor-winning father for this story about a special treat brought to one little girl by the African tooth fairy. Full color.
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