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I Lost My Tooth In Africa
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I Lost My Tooth In Africa

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  258 ratings  ·  92 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 468)
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Lisa Vegan
Feb 15, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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 24, 2011 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
Lisa Campbell
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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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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Grace Bradley
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
Xiaoting
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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James Daniels
A delightful international story of an African child born in America, learning the way of her father's homeland. At the main character's age losing a tooth was a special moment in her life. Her father being a native of Africa told his daughter many stories of his homeland, about what it means to be an African. The story has a spiritual undertones. the story shows and tells of the relationship between the family members in Africa, their compassion and warmth toward each other.
The artistic illu
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Maddi Hurrle
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
Riley Roth
This is a book detailing the trip of a young girl who went to see her friends and family in Africa. While there, she learns that if she loses her tooth and puts it under her pillow, she will be given a chicken. At the end of her trip, chicken eggs hatch and she names one. This book is multicultural but fails to really give much insight into African American farming culture whatsoever. It is intended for young readers, but I would probably not put it into a multicultural lesson simply due to the ...more
Amitha
I stumbled across this book at the library while browsing and was drawn in by the hilarious and cute title. The story is about what happened when the author's sister lost her tooth on a family trip to Mali (spoiler: there a chickens involved). The illustrations are eye-catching and joyful, and the story is just as fun as the title. Preschooler Monkey is very eager to lose a tooth now! (As I'm writing this, she's upstairs playing with her cousin. "Let's pretend we're in Africa! I lost my tooth!")
David
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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Erica Cowhick
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
Toby
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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Ginta Harrigan
“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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Elizabeth Leonard
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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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
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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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
Gabriela Fernandez
This book follows a young girl named Amina on a trip with her family to Africa, and along the way she discovers her tooth is loose. Her father tells her that if she loses her tooth in Africa and places it under a gourd, a chicken will appear. After hearing this, the girl tries her hardest to make her tooth fall out while she is in Africa. When it eventually does and she receives multiple chickens from the “tooth fairy”, she hopes she can stay in Africa long enough to see the chicks hatch.
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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Nathaniel Chattic
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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Nicki 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
Tara Crump
Amina realizes her tooth is loose and is more than happy to discover that if she looses her tooth in Africa, where she is going to visit her father's family, she will receive...a chicken! This story offers insights into Mali culture as Amina visits her aunts and uncles in the compound they live in, shares a meal from a big bowl, and goes to her grandmother to receive her morning blessing. I enjoyed this book as it is entertaining and informative with just enough suspense for young readers.
L11_Laura
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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Nyna
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
Joann
A sweet book about a young girl who visits her family in Mali and while there, looses her tooth. She gets to experience the cultural tradition of receiving a chicken from the tooth fairy. My oldest has developed an interest in learning about other cultures and this book was a great choice.
Ms Threlkeld
A lovely book for introducing children to daily life in a small African village and for talking about how we all have things in common (losing a tooth, for example), even though our lives may be very different.
Hayley Lawrence
This story is about Amina, a young girl from Portland who goes to Africa to visit her family. Amina is excited because she has a loose tooth, and her father told her that when you lose a tooth in Africa, you get a chicken! Amina is very excited to have her very own chicken. This story is filled with Bambara terminology, the national language spoken in Mali (where her family is from). This book is covered with bright illustrations, showing the colorful outfits, the animals, and other African char ...more
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