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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A…

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale (original 1975; edition 2004)

by Verna Aardema (Author), Leo Dillon (Illustrator), Diane Dillon (Illustrator)

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Title:Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale
Authors:Verna Aardema (Author)
Other authors:Leo Dillon (Illustrator), Diane Dillon (Illustrator)
Info:Puffin/Dial (1992), 32 pages
Collections:Children's books

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Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema (1975)


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Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
The mosquito is a nosy little creature that has a very big mouth. The mosquito lies to an iguana and the iguana has an itch to tell someone and does and each animal that hears the little fib has the same ith to tell someone. The secret eventually gets to the Lion and he is outraged, wondering who started the lie. The animals find out it was the mosquito and to this day, people shoo mosquitoes away when they try to tell us lies and gossip in our ears. This story would be good to teach students about folk tales, multicultural fairy tales, not lying, and to not gossip. I think this book could not only be used in a classroom, but adults would benefit from the endearing story with a valuable lesson, as well! ( )
  marissathrower | Apr 24, 2018 |
This is a tale about a mosquito who starts a rumor, that get misconstrued as it is passed between animals and when it reaches the king, it upsets him. He buzzes in peoples ears to ask if everyone is still mad at him and when we swat him away it shows that we are. This book can be used to teach children about accuracy in our writing and reading. ( )
  FallonJohnston | Apr 23, 2018 |
This folktale is about how a mosquito lies to an iguana which causes a chain reaction of chaos within the animals in the jungle. It is later explained that the mosquito buzzes in peoples ears to find out if the animals are still angry with him.

This book uses vibrant, stencil illustrations which engages the reader from the first page. This is great story to teach children what can happen when they lie as well as the consequences of gossiping. If used as a read aloud, students can join in on the repetitive, cumulative aspect of the book, or students can be asked to predict and/or infer about the story. This story also uses many onomatopoeias, so students could be given animal cards that they have to create onomatopoeias for. ( )
  Tori.Okosun | Apr 22, 2018 |
A mosquito tries to communicate with an iguana, but then the iguana ignores him by placing sticks in his ears. Then the iguana encounters with other animals and it creates a long line of misinterpretation. Children would like this story because of the unique illustrations and can relate to how rumors spread from people misinterpreting what they hear. Teachers could get the whole class in a circle to play a game of telephone to demonstrate how people may hear something different from that they originally heard. ( )
  shelbieramon | Apr 22, 2018 |
Based on a West African tale, children will easily recognized the ramifications of telling a fib. Beautiful, stencil-like illustrations will capture the readers attention and gives clues to the action written on the page. I think kids will particularly enjoy the use of onomatopoeia in the descriptions regarding the animals movements, such as "...her back way and bounded, krik, krik, krik..." or "...bobbing his head, badamin, badamin." ( )
  Rebbecca | Mar 12, 2018 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Verna Aardemaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, DianeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Marcia VanDuinen who heard this story first
First words
One morning a mosquito saw an iguana drinking at a waterhole.
Is everyone still mad at me?
Mosquito told me such a big lie, I couldn't bear to listen to it. So I put sticks in my ears.
I'd rather be deaf than listen to such nonsense!
It was the mosquito's fault
The mosquito said, "I saw a farmer digging yams that were almost as big as I am."
"What's a mosquito compared to a yam?" snapped the iguana grumpily.
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Book description
This West African pourquoi tale explains why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears. It all starts with Mosquito telling a lie to Iguana. Tired of listening to Mosquito, Iguana puts twigs in his own ears. When Python tries to talk to Iguana and Iguana doesn't respond to him, it sets off a chain of events that leads to the sun not rising in the morning. King Lion must learn the story of the events leading back to Mosquito's lie in order to get Mother Owl to call the sun. The story is enhanced by beautiful Caldecott winning illustrations.

If you enjoyed this story, try "Ahanti to Zulu: African Traditions".
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Reveals the meaning of the mosquito's buzz.

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