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What do children around the world do when their teeth fall out?

This manuscript pushes caregivers and children to be curious about other culture around the world.

Photo of Fatima El-Mekki

Written by

My big sister’s tooth fell out.

I wondered, what do children around the world do when a child loses a tooth? Put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy? Throw it on the roof like my Grandma did in the Tetela culture?

When I asked Grandma, she said, “Let’s go to the library to learn more about different cultures responses to children losing their teeth. We can play our favorite games on the way.”

“I spy with my little eye something that’s red - the word on it begins with the letter ‘S’,” I said.

“A stop sign! Now, let’s count how many stop signs we see before reaching the library,” said Grandma.

I began counting, “One…Two stop signs!” I said.

“Great! Now, look at this wall mural. It’s called, “A secret book,” said Grandma.

We walked through the parking lot. Grandma said, “Let’s count how many steps there are in between each car.

“One, two, three.”

“Easy as a-b-c!” we said laughing.

We arrived at the library. We were surprised by what we saw.

There were books all over the floor.

“It’s just a toddler playing with books,” said Grandma. “We use books differently. Sometimes, that’s how little toddlers interact with books.”

“Grandma!” I had found two books describing what people in China and Namibia do when a child’s tooth falls out.”

 “Now, let’s go home and re-read your tooth fairy book and then read the new ones to compare,” Grandma said

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

This manuscript has been written with the hope to help caregivers realize that they can teach children new words or counting in a fun and different ways. It also encourages learning about different cultures and finding time to interact and play- even as you're driving with you young children.

Share your suggested book title

What do children around the world do when their teeth fall out?

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

My big sister’s tooth fell out. I wondered, what do children around the world do when a child loses a tooth? Put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy? Throw it on the roof like my Grandma did in the Tetela culture? When I asked Grandma, she said, “Let’s go to the library to learn more about different cultures responses to children losing their teeth. We can play our favorite games on the way.” “I spy with my little eye something that’s red - the word on it begins with the letter ‘S’,” I said. “A stop sign! Now, let’s count how many stop signs we see before reaching the library,” said Grandma. I began counting, “One…Two stop signs!” I said. “Great! Now, look at this wall mural. It’s called, “A secret book,” said Grandma. We walked through the parking lot. Grandma said, “Let’s count how many steps there are in between each car. “One, two, three.” “Easy as a-b-c!” we said laughing. We arrived at the library. We were surprised by what we saw. There were books all over the floor. “It’s just a toddler playing with books,” said Grandma. “We use books differently. Sometimes, that’s how little toddlers interact with books.” “Grandma!” I had found two books describing what people in China and Namibia do when a child’s tooth falls out.” “Now, let’s go home and re-read your tooth fairy book and then read the new ones to compare,” Grandma said

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

With the use of tier one and tier two words, this book encourages caregivers to talk with the kids and give them the opportunity to imagine what can happen in different cultures. Strong language development in 0-3 year old is heavily predicated on interactions, singing, games, and speaking. Research encourages rereading the same books to children as well as exposing them to new books. I tried to also highlight home and public libraries, helping children to investigate their curiosities, and rhyming.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I have lived in Philadelphia for several years and have many family members and children who attended Philadelphia schools.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Visiting a city library, demonstrating diversity (grandmother and the child's book selection) and highlighting a Center City wall.

Location: Country

United States of America

Location: State or Department

Pennsylvania

Location: City

Elkins Park

Tell us more about you / your team

My name is Fatima. I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was catholic and converted to Islam at a young age. I believe that we can live in a world where we are all different but united because we have more that's similar than different. Our differences should create respectful curiosity. We all lose our teeth as we grow older and different cultures celebrates that in different, interesting manners. I have also written children's book designed to help bring Christian and Muslims together.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

1. My name is Fatima. Mine too! 2. Fatima invites Fatima to the Iftar Party 3. Last night in my dream 4. Zaynab Worries about Her best Friends 5. The Curios Little Duckling Learns The Rooster's Secret. All published by Create space/Amazon

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • William Penn Foundation website / social media

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

This inspired (1)

I am a mural painter

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Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

Make it more interacgive .

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