An African version of the familiar story of a man who sets off to sell his hats, only to have them stolen by a treeful of mischievous monkeys.
Born in 1961 in Mali, West Africa, Baba Wagué Diakité was named "Wagué," or "Man of Trust," after his grandfather. "I grew up in a storytelling family," Diakité remembers. "Even after my Western education in a French school, my basic understanding of life is still from this traditional education of mankind that my grandparents taught me...Without stories, there is no art." Though always artistically inclined, he didn't begin the ceramic work for which he is known until after he moved to the U.S. in 1985. Diakité's work has been in shows in New York, California, Texas, and Oregon. His first picture book, a retelling of one of his grandmother's fables called The Hunterman and the Crocodile, was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Diakité teamed up with his daughter Penda, who was 12 at the time, to publish I Lost My Tooth in Africa, a warm family story about the African tooth fairy. Penda was inspired to write this story about her little sister after they returned from visiting their family in Mali. The Diakité family divides their time between Portland, Oregon, and Bamako, Mali. For more information about Baba Wagué Diakité, visit: scholastic.com/tradebooks