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Multicultural Book Summary and Analysis

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on 21 September 2014

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Transcript of Multicultural Book Summary and Analysis

The setting is where a story takes place. It can be an actual place that exits or an imaginary place.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
takes place in Africa. Possibly in a farm area that is close to reed fields and forest or jungle land.
Literary Elements: Setting
Literary Elements: Characters
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears:
A West African Tale
Winner of...

The Caldecott Award (1976)
The Reading Rainbows 101 Best Children's Books (1976)
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears:
A West African Tale
Written by: Verna Aardema

Illustrated by: Leo Dillion and Diana Dillion

Culture Represented: West Africa

Genre: Children's Books > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths
Multicultural Book
Literary Elements: Plot
A plot is a series of events that takes place throughout the story that starts with the beginning problem and ends with the solution.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
the plot begins with mosquito telling iguana a lie about the farmer pulling yams bigger than him. The plot continues as each character encounters another character until the character who started all the trouble is identified.
Iguana has sticks in his ears and he is annoyed that mosquito told him a lie so he does not hear or see Python trying to talk to him.
The theme of a folktale is a lesson about human nature that readers can learn.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
the theme is cause and effect; how one persons, or animals, actions can affect the next person, or animal, they encounter. For example, mosquito told Iguana a lie. Iguana didn't want to hear it so he put sticks in his ears. Because he put sticks in his ears he did not hear Python say good morning so he ignored him.
Literary Elements: Theme
Book Summary
This story begins with a pesky mosquito telling tales in an Iguana's ear. The Iguana doesn't want to hear the lies the mosquito is telling so he puts sticks in his ears. Since the Iguana put sticks in his ears he can't hear so he upsets the Python when he tries to speak with him. Since the Python is upset he acts strange and scares the Rabbit. This effect continues through the story until a tragic accident happens when Monkey falls on Momma Owl's nest and kills one of her Owlets. Momma Owl become so upset she no longer calls to the sun to make it wake up and start a new day. Will a new day ever come? Will Momma Owl finally wake the sun? The animal counsel must get to the bottom of this problem by figuring out who is responsible for hurting Momma Owl's baby so she will finally call to the sun and make it rise again.
Style and Quality
Cumulative tale; also known as a chain tale

Easy to read
Likeable/troublesome characters
Somewhat repetitive (good for you readers)
Cause and effect storyline
Sad plot
Positive outcome
Author's Background
Enjoyed reading books about Africa; "which may explain why so many of her books are retellings of African folktales". (Children's Literature Network, 2008)
Eight of the thirty-three African folktales written by Verna Aardema:
Tales from the Story Hat
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Who's in Rabbit's House?
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale
Bimwili and the Zimwi
How the Ostrich Got Its Long Neck: A Tale from the Akamba of Kenya
Anansi Does The Impossible!: An Ashanti Tale
Koi and the Kola Nuts
Leo and Diane Dillion

Born eleven days apart in 1933
Completed their 40th book together in 1997; the same yeahey celebrated their 40th anniversary
"Their work has been an outstanding contribution to children of all races and cultures". (NCCIL, n. d.)
They have worked with Verna Aardema on three books.
"Won back-to-back Caldecott medals for children's book illustration, with
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
(1976) and
Ashanti to Zulu
(1977)". (Locus Online, 2000)
Illustrator's Background
Culturally Authentic Language
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
does not contain any language that is specific to the culture found in East Africa.
Cultural Details
The landscape illustrated in this book appears to be accurate for the culture in East Africa.

The characters in this book seem to be accurate compared to the animals that actually live in East Africa.
Character Relationships
King Lion is portrayed as a leader; someone all the other animals follow and obey.

The counsel is portrayed as a jury working together to keep peace in the forest/jungle.

The Iguana, Python, Rabbit, Crows, Monkey, and Momma Owl are all friendly characters until the effects of Mosquitoes lies makes them all act strangely.
Amazon (2014).
Why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears
. Retrieved from

Barnes and Noble (2014).
Why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears
. Retrieved from

Beanie N Us! (2013).
. [Monkey and Crow and Momma Owl.] Retrieved
from http://beanienus.blogspot.com/2013_12_01_archive.html

Changemakers (2014).
. [Africa.] Retrieved from

Children's Literature Network (2008).
Verna Aardema
. Retrieved from

Goethe Bookstore (2014)
. [Python and Rabbit.] Retrieved from

GoodReads (2014).
Why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears
. Retrieved from

Good Reads (2014). Verna Aardema. {Image and book list.] Retrieved from
Theresa Unger


September 22, 2014

Regina Munzo Bennett
Locus Online. (2000).
. [Leo and Diane Dillion.] Retrieved from

Locus Online (2000).
Leo & Diane Dillion: The third artist rules
. Retrieved from

NCCIL (n. d.).
Artist profile: Leo & Diane Dillion
. Retrieved from
New York Times (2014).
. [Mosquito and Iguana.] Retrieved from

The Art of Leo and Diane Dillion (2010).
. [King Lion, Antelope, and the
counsel.] Retrieved from

Mosquito and Iguana
Python and Rabbit
Crow and Monkey
Momma Owl
References (continued)
King Lion, Antelope and the counsel
Verna Aardema
Born: 1911
Died: 2000
Author to 33 African folktales.
First book was published in 1960 and her last book was published in 1999; a year before her passing.

Summary and Analysis
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