MOSQUITO by Virginia Kroll


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5
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Almost as annoying at the eponymous insect, this pointless picture book seems unlikely to find an appreciative audience.

Prolific author Kroll rolls out rhymed verses in an abab pattern. The first and third lines are the same: “ ‘Buzz,’ said Mosquito.” The second and fourth feature inexplicably old-fashioned language as each animal that Mosquito approaches responds. The verbs Kroll chooses suit the animals well. Bear growls, Hare thumps, Dog barks, Drake quacks. But the words and phrases they use won’t resonate with young listeners. “Gee whiz!” “Dagnabbit!” “Fiddlesticks!” “Alack!” Alack? After what feels like an interminable series of encounters, including animals both wild and domestic as well as a little girl, the mosquito meets an unfortunate end at the hands—or rather in the mouth—of a bat. The uninspired text gets no help from the bland illustrations. The animals are represented realistically, though they are occasionally awkwardly drawn, but the mosquito is overlarge and oddly anthropomorphized. And in contrast to the strong, active verbs, overall the paintings are decidedly static. A final page featuring facts about mosquitoes seems aimed at a considerably older audience; it feels tacked on and not particularly useful.

Better books about bugs or by this author are plentiful, so skip this one with a clear conscience. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1589808836
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Pelican
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2011


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