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Friday, September 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 68.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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By Penda Diakite

Amina, a young American girl, is going to Mali to visit relatives and she just happens to have a loose tooth. She is hoping to lose her tooth while there, because in Africa, children receive chickens from the tooth fairy when their teeth fall out.

Amina wiggles and pushes on her tooth until it finally falls out. After placing her tooth under a calabash gourd, she is thrilled to receive two chickens. Before Amina goes home, her chickens lay eggs that hatch into chicks.

Several African customs are woven into the story: All of the relatives live in one compound, they eat around one big bowl using their hands, and every morning the grandmother blesses the children.

Baba Wague Diakite, the author's father, has illustrated the book with lively, detailed scenes painted on ceramic tile. A glossary with words from several African languages is included, along with words to Grandma N'na's goodnight song, and a recipe for African onion sauce.

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