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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale Paperback – August 15, 1992


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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale + Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - Preschool
  • Series: Picture Puffin Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin/Dial (August 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140549056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140549058
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I read this book as a child and enjoyed it.
Olga Martinez
Still do, but the story is good too: a moral tale about gossip and mosquitoes.
keia
The illustrations are fabulous, colorful and fun.
Denali

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Paretti on June 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema, Pictures by Leo and Diane Dillion. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1975.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears is an African folktale which offers a great lesson to be learned by children. The story is about a mosquito who tells a lie to an iguana and annoys the iguana. This sets off a series of events that affects everyone who lives in the forest and the initiation of daylight.
It is an excellent story for a young reader to learn the consquence of telling lies and the detrimental affect it can have on individuals and/or communities. After reading this story to a child parents should ascertain whether the child understood the lesson of this folktale and emphasize how important it is to always tell the truth.
The illustrations in this book are spectacular. Each page is filled with brigthly-colored pictures that will capture the interest of a young child and keep them reading until the very end. The illustrations also correspond directly to the storyline which will give the young reader the ability to glance at the pictures and help them read the printed words.
This is not only a good story for children, but for adults too. The end offers a humorous reason for why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears, and why people shoo them away. This is definitely a good book to keep in every home and school library.
Nancy Paretti
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Renee Jones (rm123@bellsouth.net) on October 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
From Aesop's fables to Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, Africans explain natural phenomenon in the form of a story. This story also has a moral at the end. Ask your reader what it is. This question will tell you if the reader understood the sequence of the story and the main idea.
The illustrations are fabulous. The story is great-especially when all the animals go before the council to explain what the problem is. They actually talk it out which is a concept we need to reinforce with our children.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I don't recommend this book to the mosquito lovers of the world. If you've a soft place in your heart for those buzzing swarming little blood-sucking fiends, you probably shouldn't peruse this particular book. HOWEVER. If you happen to enjoy a good "why" story from Africa, you could hardly do better than the lushly illustrated "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears".

In a kind of Chicken Little series of events, a lying mosquito sets off a chain reaction ending, ultimately, in the sun no longer rising. When the animals of the forest slowly track down the reasons behind the sun's disappearance, they eventually reach the conclusion that mosquito is the one to blame. Ever since, mosquitoes will sometimes ask people whether or not "everyone" is still angry at them. The answer is a satisfying (I love this descriptive sound) KPAO!

The illustrations are splendid. During the day they are set against a white background. By the time the sun disappears, they pop out of a black setting. Kids will like finding the small smiling pink bird that cleverly pops up in every scene. It's a fine fine text that bears more than a passing resemblance at times to the classic nursery rhyme "The House the Jack Built". And who knew that the sound lions make when they laugh is "Nge nge nge"? Not I, said the fly. A lovely read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nostalgic mama on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a great story for all..it is about real life. This story was read to me and my siblings as children and I loved it so much, I sought it for my own children (both less than age 2) in hopes that they too would grow with the lessons of the story.

It teaches the consequences of gossiping.

African stories always have a moral to teach, thats why I love them so.

Another must have for an international library.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison (dallison@biochem.med.ufl.edu) on April 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
This children's book, based on a West African folk tale, describes a series of events initiated by a mosquito talking to an iguana and tells why mosquitos buzz in people's ears and why we also slap at them! The book was illustrated by Leo and Diane Dalton and it won the 1976 Caldecott Medal for best illustration in a book for children. Children will love the drawings and also will get an introduction into the culture of African countries.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2001
Format: School & Library Binding
The book was the Caldecott Medal winner in 1976 for the best illustrated children's book of that year. The book is a retold version of a West African folk tale which will charm anyone who hears it.
This book is not only good for parents to read to their children, it is also appropriate for use in the classroom for K - 2nd grade. The book subtly explores the unseen hand of causation to expand children's horizons about the effects of what they do. In so doing, it raises a number of interesting issues that you can discuss together.
The story is organized as follows. A mosquito sets off a string of causation. At the end of the causation, there is an investigation which gradually unveils the causation. Realizing the causation solves the problem, and has an unintended consequence.
The book's overall point is that we all need to be better listeners. Since poor communication and listening are the most important causes of problems, this story can be the foundation to focus a child on improving in both of those areas.
"The mosquito siad, 'I saw a farmer digging yams that were almost as big as I am.'"
"I would rather be deaf than listen to such nonsense!" was the Iguana's reaction. So he put 2 sticks into his ears to block out the sound of the mosquito. (Hardly a good role model for listening.) Because Iguana could not hear, he ignored Python's greeting. Frightened by this, Python dived down the nearest rabbit hole. Doing this caused the rabbit to scurry away. Crow spotted the rabbit running, and raised the alarm that danger was near. Monkey heard the cry and leapt through the trees. One of the branches broke, and Monkey fell into Owl's nest killing an owlet. When Mother Owl returned, she was so heart broken she could not hoot to awaken the sun.
Read more ›
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