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I Lost My Tooth In Africa

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  345 Ratings  ·  115 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 wil
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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Lisa Vegan
Feb 15, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: omnivorous children, especially those at ages when they’re losing baby teeth
I saw this on the library shelf, and was interested because I’ve enjoyed reading about traditions around baby teeth loss in other books, including Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World and several others, but if I’d read the inside cover carefully I’d never have read it. The tradition here is if you lose a tooth, you then get your own chicken. Definitely offends my vegan sensibilities. However, I couldn’t help enjoying this book.

For one thing, it’s basically a true
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Kathryn
Mar 23, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa Vegan
What a fun, engaging and surprisingly thoughtful story about a young girl from Portland who accompanies her family to Mali (in West Africa) to spend several weeks with her extended family. To add to the excitement, she has a loose tooth and hopes it will fall out while she is in Mali so she can get a chicken from the African tooth fairy! Well, with the title "I Lost My Tooth in Africa" it's no surprise that he wish comes true, but it's still a great deal of fun finding out when it happens and wh ...more
L11_Page
Jan 25, 2011 L11_Page rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mc_lit, picture_books
This brilliantly written book is based on the true story of the author's younger sister's experience of losing a tooth on a trip to visit family in Mali, West Africa. Instead of money, her sister is promised a chicken, the traditional gift for placing a tooth under a gourd for the African tooth fairy. Losing a tooth and waiting for a gift to appear is familiar to many in the intended audience of 4-7 year olds and the enthusiasm Amina, the sister and narrator, shows after losing the tooth made me ...more
Ali
Nov 22, 2014 Ali rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vitabu-kwa-kali
Kali thoroughly enjoyed this one (she said so herself). The book has a number of words from one of the many languages of Mali, and without always giving the translation, the context allows the child to figure out what it means. It also introduces concepts of family and deeper levels of appreciation for everyday life in Mali.
Mandi
Jun 05, 2017 Mandi rated it really liked it
Nothing funny or exciting about this book but it's a good insight into Mali, Africa from an American girl's 8 year old point of view and the pictures are fun. The fact that it's based off a true story (the author's sister ), makes it even better 😊
Katelyn Bognatz
Title: I Lost My Tooth In Africa

Author: Penda Diakite

Illustrator: Baba Wague Diakite

Genre: Myth

Theme(s): Family Life, Africa, Myths

Opening line/sentence: Hi! My name is Amina. I live in Portland, Oregon. Today, we are flying to Africa to visit my father’s family in Bamako, Mali. Africa is very far from our home in Portland. It takes two days, three planes, and three different continents to get there. Right before landing in Mali, I discover I have a wiggly tooth!

Brief Book Summary: While visitin
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AJ
Mar 12, 2017 AJ rated it liked it
I enjoyed this one that made some cultural events in Mali easy for kids, and relatable.
Jessica LeBaron

I Lost My Tooth In Africa
Penda Diakité

This picture book tells the story of Amina, a girl who travels to Mali, Africa from Portland, Oregon with her family to visit other family members. When they first depart on their trip, Amina has a loose tooth. Amina wiggles it and wiggles it, but it won’t fall out. In Africa, it is said that if you lose a tooth, you can put it underneath a gourd, and then you will get a chicken from the African Tooth Fairy. Amina’s African family lives all together in a com
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Emily Moog
I Lost My Tooth in Africa, written by Penda Diakite is a picture book depicting life and culture in Mali, Africa. Amina, the main character, from Portland, Oregon, goes to visit family in Mali. Her main concern throughout the story is for her loose tooth that she hopes to wriggle free. As she waits and hopes, many customs of the Mali people are seen and described relating to her loose tooth and waiting. Just as Amina had to wait for her tooth to come free, she also has to wait for chickens to ha ...more
David
Apr 20, 2014 David rated it really liked it
I Lost My Tooth In Africa by Penda Diakité, illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité tells the tale of a young girl from Portland, Oregon who visits her extended family in Mali, and receives the traditional gift of a chicken in return for placing her lost tooth under a calabash gourd for the African tooth fairy.

Colorful, detailed illustrations feature borders of teeth and chickens, birds and vegetables, feathers and eggs, and more. Vibrant colors and earthy tones abound. Some details are only seen in t
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Toby
Feb 21, 2009 Toby rated it it was amazing
I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakite, Illus by Baba Wague Diakite

2010 Monarch Award Master List
You will probably recognize the name ‘Diakite’ – the illustrator won a Coretta Scott King Honor for The Hunterman and the Crocodile and was also the author/illustrator of The Hatseller and the Monkeys, an African version of the old Caps for Sale story. Penda, we learn from the glossary means’ love’ in Swahili but, the author informs us that, even though Swahili is an East African language (and th
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Noelle Marie
I Lost my Tooth in Africa, is picture book about a young girl named Amina who loses her tooth while visiting relatives in Mali, Africa. The story allows readers to make comparisons between tooth traditions in the United States and those of Africa. Readers of this story learn that instead of receiving money for a tooth (like in America), individuals from Africa place their tooth under a gourd, in hopes that the African tooth fairy will deliver them laying hens. This book in our opinion merits the ...more
Xiaoting
Apr 02, 2015 Xiaoting rated it it was amazing
l lost My Tooth in Africa
This is multicultural picture book. The main character is Amina. 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! We all know that this is not possible. However, Amina lost her tooth in Africa and she got chickens. When lost her tooth, the chickens lay eggs. Amina carefully take care chickens in Africa.

I think this story have grea
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Lisa Campbell
Jun 29, 2015 Lisa Campbell rated it it was amazing
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book - picture book.
Estimate of age level of interest- K - 3
Estimate of reading level - 3rd grade
Brief description - Amina visits Mali with her family, and on the plane discovers that her tooth is loose! Her father tells her that in Mali when you lose your tooth, you get a chicken! Amina loses her tooth, and waits with great anticipation for her chickens to arrive.
Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how the
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Grace Bradley
Apr 22, 2014 Grace Bradley rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I read this book for a project on notable books and I definitely think this could win an award. This book is about a little African American girl and her family who live in Portland, Oregon and decide to visit their family from Africa. On the airplane the little girl discovers that she has a loose tooth. Her dad tells her that if you lose a tooth in Africa, they give you a chicken! She begins to wiggle her tooth and hopes to lose it in Africa. When they arrive they eat dinner with their family m ...more
Tedi Tsopelas
Sep 28, 2015 Tedi Tsopelas rated it really liked it
The story “I Lost My Tooth in Africa” by Penda Diakite is about a young girl named Amina who makes a trip out to Bamako, Mali to go see her father’s side of the family. When Amina discovers and tells her father that she has a loose tooth, he explains to her that if she loses it in Mali, the African Tooth Fairy will leave her a chicken. After days of exploring the culture of Mali and waiting and waiting for her tooth to fall it, it finally does and Amina waited eagerly for the tooth fairy to come ...more
Ch_jank-caporale
Penda Diakite was born in Portland, Oregon to a father from Bamako, Mali. The two have teemed up as writer/illustrator of this story based on Penda's sister, Amina, who really did lose her tooth in Africa.
Mali legend says that if you lose your tooth in Africa and put it under a calabash gourd, the tooth fairy will trade you for it with a chicken. Amina is very excited- the waiting is killing her!- and, sure enough, she receives two chickens, one male, one female, who lay eggs beneath the gourd.
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Elizabeth Leonard
Apr 15, 2013 Elizabeth Leonard rated it liked it
This story is very relatable to all students since at some point they will all lose their baby teeth. I like how this story finds a common ground about the tooth fairy, I’m sure it will grab student’s attention. This also shows a tradition that is different for the Mali culture then American, children normally would get money from the tooth fairy not a chicken.
This book is rich in cultural details. For example once Amina gets to Africa she eats the Djaba Dji soup with her family, the recipe is a
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Ginta Harrigan
Oct 04, 2011 Ginta Harrigan rated it really liked it
Shelves: multi-cultural
“I Lost My Tooth in Africa” is about an American girl who travels to Africa with her family to visit relatives while there she loses her tooth, places it under a calabash (a gourd) and receives a hen and a rooster from the African Tooth Fairy.

“I Lost My Tooth in Africa” is a culturally specific book but only as it applies to Africans. Children of African descent who live in the United States would never expect to receive a chicken in exchange for a lost tooth. However, I liked the story; it is a
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Alexandria
I Lost my Tooth in Africa, is picture book about a young girl named Amina who loses her tooth while visiting relatives in Mali, Africa. The story allows readers to make comparisons between tooth traditions in the United States and those of Africa. Readers of this story learn that instead of receiving money for a tooth (like in America), individuals from Africa place their tooth under a gourd, in hopes that the African tooth fairy will bring them laying hens. This book definitely merits the honor ...more
Erica Cowhick
Oct 06, 2008 Erica Cowhick rated it liked it
A girl named Amina lives in Portland, Oregon and is flying to Africa to visit her father's family. Before they arive in Amina, Amina notices that she has a wiggly tooth. If you lose a tooth in Africa and put it under a gourd, then you will get a chicken from the African Tooth Fairy! This book talks about several of the cultural things that are done in Africa such as: sleeping on a bamboo bed, greeting grandma and recieve blessings, and playing different African games. Amina lost her tooth and pu ...more
Brittni Hover
This is a great book about little Amina wanting to lose her tooth that is loose while in Africa. She wants to lose it there so she can put it under a gourd for the tooth fairy. She would then get two chickens. She was lucky enough to lose her tooth in Africa, she received the two chickens, and then to her surprise the chickens laid eggs. She loves that this has happened as is so excited about it. She is sad to leave because she doesn’t think the eggs had hatched. She went to so goodbye, and the ...more
Betsy
This fictional narrative takes you on an adventure as the main character, Amina, loses her tooth while visiting her family in Mali. She is pleasantly surprised to learn how the tradition of the tooth fairy is different there from how it is in her home of Portland, Oregon.

As a teacher I would use this book to compare and contrast different traditions and culture. Amina sleeps in a bamboo bed and brushes her teeth by the papaya tree to not waste the water. The students could use this as a writing
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Maddi Hurrle
Apr 19, 2015 Maddi Hurrle rated it it was amazing
Amina and her family travel to Mali, West Africa to visit her family. And she wants nothing more than to lose her tooth while she's there. There is a popular belief that if she loses her tooth there and stashes it under a gourd the tooth fairy will trade in her tooth for two chickens! This entertaining and insightful children's book is based off a true story that occurred when the author's sister visited Mali. This book is not only educational but a fun read aloud for all with the video illustra ...more
Mrs. Blomquist
Not all tooth fairies are the same. A little girl and her family travel to Africa to visit her dad's family. On the way there she discovers a loose tooth. Her dad tells her all about the African tooth fairy. While we here, in America, expect the tooth fairy to leave us small cash tokens the tooth fairy in Africa leaves a chicken. The little girl in this story hides her tooth but thinks the tooth fairy has forgotten about her. When she decides to take her tooth back she is pleasantly surprised to ...more
Matt Vagts
Multicultural-literature Book #8
This book is about a little girl who goes to Africa with her parents to go and see her relatives in Africa. The little girl has a loose tooth and her dad tells her that if she were to lose her tooth in Africa that the African tooth fairy would bring her a chicken. So while she is in Africa she tries to get her tooth out of her mouth and she also learns about the African culture. She does eventually loose her tooth and she gets a hen and a rooster from the African
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Barbara
When Amina and her family leave Portland to visit family in Mali in West Africa, she is amazed at all the chickens everywhere. Because she longs for a chicken of her own, she keeps hoping that her loose tooth will finally come out while she is abroad. After all, she knows that if she puts that tooth under a gourd, she will find a chicken there in return. At least that's what the locals tell her. When it comes to pass, the chickens lay eggs, and Amina wonders if they could possibly hatch before s ...more
L11_Laura
Jan 24, 2011 L11_Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mc_literature
The author of this book wrote an endearing story about her sister's (Amina) experience of going to Mali, West Africa to visit family and losing a tooth while there. In Africa, when the tooth is placed under a gourd the African tooth fairy brings a chicken to the child. Young children can relate to the story here in the U.S. including the tooth fairy, a gift, and the excitement of the experience.

The narrator/Amina waits for the African tooth fairy, is thrilled when she gets her chicken and it la
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Nathaniel Chattic
Nov 09, 2009 Nathaniel Chattic rated it it was amazing
Grades: 1-5

This book can be appreciated by a younger audience for its colorful illustrations and by an older audience for its history and storytelling. I really enjoyed the artwork in this story. Baba Diakite creates a vivid setting and characters, using a nice combination of earthy tones and vibrant colors for attire and nature. There is quite a bit of framing of images here, with the borders around each picture connecting to the text and what is going on within the picture itself. There is als
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Nyna
Dec 01, 2013 Nyna rated it did not like it
Not a fantastic book. Granted, it was written by a very young girl. However, it seems to mostly be a story with some “token” cultural tidbits thrown in. The story itself is interesting, and the pictures are quite fun. There is a ring of something or other around many of the pictures, as a border, and they seem to simply sum up the contents of the page they surround. They are not super professional, and that makes them all the more fun and child-like (to go with the story of a child). Life was cl ...more
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