Scarce first printing of the book that won the Dillons their first Caldecott award – and the first of two that would make them the only illustrators to be awarded the Caldecott in consecutive years.
Near fine in like jacket.
"The Dillons' work was [...] noteworthy for the diversity of the people it portrayed. This was especially striking in the 1970s, when the Dillons began illustrating for children: until then, the smiling faces portrayed in picture books had been overwhelmingly white."
Leo, a Black New Yorker whose parents had immigrated from Trinidad, and Diane, a White Californian, met at the Parsons School of Design where they "became instant archrivals and remained together from then on" (NYT). According to the TIMES obituary of Leo, "Their emphasis on inclusion sprang from their experience as an interracial couple." Their unfailingly vibrant and compelling artistic collaborations on book and magazine covers, especially in science fiction, as well as their illustrations for children's books, have only grown in critical acclaim and influence. When they won the Caldecott for this book in 1976, Leo Dillon became the first African American to be awarded the honor; after winning the 1977 Caldecott for ASHANTI TO ZULU, they became (and remain) the only illustrators to be awarded in two consecutive years. A wonderful copy, quite scarce is the first state dust jacket.
Read more: Fox, "Leo Dillon, Celebrated Illustrator of Children's Books, Is Dead at 79," New York Times, 30 May 2012.
New York: Dial Press, (1975). Full title: Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale. 9.75'' x 9.5''. Original pale blue cloth, blind-stamped mosquito on front board, silver-lettered spine. In original unclipped ($6.95) color pictorial dust jacket with illustrations by the Dillons. Magenta endpapers. "First printing" stated on copyright page. Illustrated by the Dillons on nearly every page in multiple colors.  pages. Lower corner of front flap clipped. Faint line of sunning to cloth edges; light shelfsoil to jacket with a couple minor abrasions on spine
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