Parents' Guide to

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

By Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Jazzy, inventive take on West African folktale.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale Poster Image

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This book is a gem, from the artwork that resembles the glories of stained glass, to the cumulative power of the story's progress, to the highly original words Aardema has invented for the animals. It is also a vibrant tale of consequences and personal responsibility, even if it ends on a note of high comedy. The Dillons' illustrations are sumptuous, boldly outlined and full of feeling. Each character is given a distinct personality: The iguana is a curmudgeon, the monkey is a piece of trouble, the mosquito is a menace.

As a read-aloud, the book has particular merit. Just watch as 5-year-olds try to wrap their lips around sounds like "purup" and "nge nge nge." Read with verve, the story pulses with life. Even the most timid of listeners are happy to join in that last KPAO!

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