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Verna Aardema was born on June 6, 1911 in New Era Michigan. She received her B.A. degree from Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences in 1934. She was a grade school teacher from 1934 to 1973 and staff correspondent for the Muskegon Chronicle from 1951 to 1972. Aardema started writing children's stories in the 1950's, and in 1960 she published her first books, Tales from the Story Hat and The Sky God Stories. She specializes in the modernization and adaptation of traditional African folktales. In the 1970s, Aardema joined illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon and produced three picture books. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears received the Caldecott Medal in 1976 and the Brooklyn Art Books for Children Award in 1977. Who's in Rabbit's House? was the 1977 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award winner in 1978. Aardema received the Children's Reading Round Table Award in 1981, and several of her books have been selected as Notable Books by the American Library Association. Oh Kojo! How Could You! won the 1984 Parents' Choice Award for Literature. Verna Aardema died in 2000.
— biography from Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears 4,640 copies, 264 reviews

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A prolific American children's author and teacher, Verna Norberg Aardema Vugteveen - more commonly known as Verna Aardema - was born in 1911 in New Era, Michigan. She was educated at Michigan State University, and taught grade school from 1934-1973. She also worked as a journalist for the Muskegon Chronicle from 1951-1972. In 1960 she published her first book, the collection of stories, Tales from the Story Hat. She went on to write over thirty more books, most of them folkloric retellings. Her picture-book, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, won co-illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon a Caldecott Medal. Aardema was married twice, and died in 2000 in Fort Myers, Florida. (source: Wikipedia)
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