Since it is Children’s Book Week, I wanted to spotlight at least a couple of children’s books that I’ve read with Amber over the years.

whyWhy Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale by Verna Aardema, pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon

A mosquito sets off a chain reaction ending, ultimately, in the sun no longer rising.

The pictures are wonderful, colorful and bright, but unusual, as the cover shows, almost mosaic in style. For me, though, the highlight of the book is the onomatopoeic (if that’s a word) text. It’s just truly fun to read aloud, making the different animal noises, and the repetive phrases give a rhythm to the story. My one warning is that an owlet dies, but it never seemed to bother Amber, who is an animal lover if there ever was one. When she was going through her books, choosing which ones she wanted to put out for the garage sale, she decided to keep this one.


magic hatThe Magic Hat by Mem Fox, illustrated by Tricia Tusa

One fine day, from out of town–and without any warning at all–a magic hat appears in the sky. It tumbles and bounces through the air and makes magic wherever it lands. Everyone is delighted as, one by one, the townspeople are transformed into giant playful animals. And then a wizard arrives. . . .

This is another great read-aloud rhyming story. Notice this one features animals, too.  The illustrations are cute and go along with the story perfectly. I remember reading it with Amber when she was little and she would finish phrases for me, which shows how often we read it.


  • YAY! I love love love “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears” with a passion! I used it for a Children’s Lit. class back in college and put on a little puppet show with all the animals – taped construction cut-outs onto popsicle sticks – super high tech don’t you know. Hmm, I still can’t believe my parents spent all that money for me to make puppets. But anyway – this book is a classic. From the storytelling to the illustrations. Your daughter has great taste.

  • We like Mem Fox (one book I remember is I WENT WALKING). That MOSQUITOES book though, wow, that gets my attention with the cover art and the description of the book … I’ll have to look for it.

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