As the family and I are continuing to learn more about our Compassion child, Sergio, and his family, I have found some great children’s books that give all of us a glimpse into the vast and beautiful continent of Africa. Happy reading!

clip_image003I Lost My Tooth In Africa
by Penda Diakité

This is the true story of Amina, a girl who lives in Portland, Oregon, as told by Amina’s older sister, Penda. It’s the story of Amina traveling to see family in Africa as a small girl and her excitement at discovering she had a loose tooth when she was on the plane to Bamako, Mali.


I Lost my Tooth In Africa is a delightful tale filled with colorful drawings by Amina and Penda’s fa,kkkther, Baba Wagué Diakité. She tells of daily African life, shares a few words in Bambara, the national language, and there’s even a recipe for the African onion sauce talked about in the book. D loved reading this book with me and I loved learning more about African life with him.


clip_image002Chirchir is Singing
by Kelly Cunnane

“High in Africa,
wind like a cat paw
wipes the sky clean.
Chirchir, Born Quickly, is singing.”


And so begins this beautifully lyrical tale of a young girl of the Kalenjin tribe of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. She goes about her day, wanting to be a help in any way she can to the members of her family. Whether it’s Mama gathering water from the well or Big Sister spreading a new floor in the family hut, Chirchir wants to help.

But, Chirchir is small, inexperienced, and her family is like a lot of us – they get exasperated when her “help” turns into more work for them. Along the way to each family member, Chirchir sings her own little tunes of what she sees, hears and smells in her homeland.

The artwork is beautifully done in this book and throughout the story the reader gets to learn a few words and phrases in Chirchir’s mother tongue of Kalenjin and Swahili. One final note: it wasn’t until I had read the book several times with D that I took some time to read the Glossary on the last page. I was pronouncing Chirchir as “CHUR-chur” when it’s really said as “CHEER-cheer”. This discovery made the story even better.