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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: 08/09/13
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears is a retelling of a West African folk tale by Verna Aardema. It won the Caledecott Medal in 1976 and was part of the materials for children ages 5 to 8 class that I took.
Mosquito likes to tell tall tales. One day he annoyed Iguana so much that he stuck sticks in his ears to avoid having to listen to pesky Mosquito any longer. Iguana's self imposed deafness sets off a series of bad events resulting in the death of one of Owl's children.
Owl then is too sad to wake the sun. King Lion must call all the animals together to learn the truth behind Owlet's death. When the evidence leads back to Mosquito he is forever punished to whisper in people's ears.
Leo and Diane Dillon's use of gradients and well defined shapes to make their animals brings energy to the story, drawing the eyes right into the action.
Although I re-read it for college, my son first introduced the book to me a couple years ago. He is very fond of African folk tales. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears is one of his favorites.