A cricket is born who cannot talk! A bigger cricket welcomes him to the world, then a locust, a cicada, and many other insects, but each time the tiny cricket rubs his wings together in vain: no sound emerges. In the end, however, he meets another quiet cricket, and manages to find his "voice." Children will love the repetitive text as they meet a steady parade of new creatures (including a "spittlebug, slurping in a sea of froth"); and of course they'll delight in the happy ending. This is one of a series of large (11.5 by 8.5 inches) format Eric Carle books with a mechanical twist: in this case, the quiet cricket bursts into (surprisingly authentic) electronic song as you turn the last page. (The battery is replaceable.) An amusement for the ears, but most of all--as ever, with Carle--a feast for the eyes. The colorful cut-paper illustrations are simply gorgeous, drawing you in even on the hundredth reading. (And there will be a hundredth reading, followed by many more.) (Baby to preschool) --Richard Farr
From Publishers Weekly
A small cricket hatches "one warm day," and the other insects greet him. Though the little guy wants very much to respond, nothing happens when he rubs his wings together. Finally, as night falls, he spies another cricket and attempts to greet her. "And this time . . . he chirped the most beautiful sound that she had ever heard." As usual, Carle's art is lovely and his story is simple and satisfying. But this book has something The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Busy Spider didn't have: an electronic chirping mechanism activated by the turning of the last page. Though the surprisingly realistic noise may get on parents' nerves, it will certainly intrigue and entertain its intended audience. Ages 3-6.
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