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

by Verna Aardema

Other authors: Diane Dillon (Illustrator), Leo Dillon (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,7012562,360 (4.12)16
When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 254 (next | show all)
15765
  lcslibrarian | Aug 9, 2020 |
11982
  lcslibrarian | Aug 9, 2020 |
1357
  lcslibrarian | Aug 9, 2020 |
This picture book was published in 1975. It was a Caldecott Award winner in 1976. It is based on an African legend. It tells a cumulative tale that includes dishonesty, as the mosquito lies to other animal, which leads to tragedy. The mosquito then hides due to what they caused, and this leads to the folk story as why mosquitos buzz in people's ears. The artwork in the story is very bold and unique. I believe students would enjoy the illustrations that accompany the story, and it would definitely enhance the story telling.
  Jeff.Condon | Jul 24, 2020 |
First up for the ‘ILS 516 Folklore/Fairy Tales’ category is this story which my feelings toward are admittedly torn. Right off the bat, I loved the art. Everything is vibrant and the sun and owl in particular look really great. Yet, I am confused as to why mosquitoes buzz. I thought the story was going to end by saying how the ruler of the animal kingdom (the lion) punishes the mosquitoes by making them only buzz so that they cannot cause any more death. But, that never happens. Though this is not entirely the fault of the author since it is a story translated and passed down through generations, I am still trying to wrap my head around it. My torn feelings aside, I still enjoyed reading Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale. ( )
  TNAEWWF123 | Apr 27, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Verna Aardemaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, DianeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Important events
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Marcia VanDuinen who heard this story first
First words
One morning a mosquito saw an iguana drinking at a waterhole.
Quotations
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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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.

Available online at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/search.php?query=t...
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