Book Reviews For Kids Reader

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, (retold by) Verna Aardema

Image from Amazon.com

A Childhood Favorite

I know I read A LOT when I was in elementary school. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the presence of mind to document each book I lovingly checked out of my school’s library and my neighborhood’s public library at the time. I’ve had to rely solely on my memory to recall the books I loved as a kid, and one of those books that is forever seared into my mind is Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears.

It is a West African tale about the circumstances of cause and effect which ultimately leads to a sad tragedy and the story’s main conflict (one that I definitely do not remember picking up on when I was a kid). It’s a beautiful story which provides great opportunities to be a kid again and to act out the noises and sounds of each animal character in it with your resident tiny person(s).

However, recalling six-year-old Alexis, what I do remember being immediately drawn to in this story was the illustrations, with their bold and enigmatic use of pattern, line and color. I remember checking this one out over and over again, just so I could splay out, belly down on my bed and look at each page with meticulous attention. To this day, I still find myself turning into that younger version of myself, enjoying the story told in pictures.

This book will definitely be one I will be sure is in my library should I have kids (by birth or through adoption and/or fostering). It is an imperative for any library where little hands and eyes explore.

If you don’t have access to a public library, if you cannot purchase or if you cannot find an ebook version of this for your e-reader, there is a wonderful narration I came across on Marissa Rivera’s YouTube channel. Check it out here; she does a great job reading this one aloud (and with sound effects!).

Happy reading, everyone!

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