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The Very Quiet Cricket (Avenues) Hardcover – November 9, 1990
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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.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
Reading this book together was by the far the BEST experience we've ever had with a book to date. :-)
I ordered this book as I've ordered several Eric Carle books in the past; with mixed results. We always enjoy the artwork and find positive messages in the books, but occasionally I find myself changing certain words or phrases as I feel they have unintended perceptions (see my review of the Tiny Seed, for example). But from the first page of this book, we both understood the little cricket's struggle to chirp. And his not giving up attitude is right on for my 3 year old who wants to be a big boy but is finding things are difficult- like putting shoes on the right foot and tying them, learning how to write his name, etc. And the theme of trying to do something over and over and getting "no sound" is something he feels too.
The book has a repetitive pattern- the young cricket meets different characters and tries to say hello by rubbing his legs together but to no avail. At the end of each encounter, three sentences are repeated. The first sentence is a longer one, the next two are shorter and simple. Something about this arrangement allowed my son to quickly recognize the repetition by the second time. In fact, although he tends not to interact with repeat phrases in other books, he picked up on and repeated this one with me every time. And wanted to read it again and say the phrase every time. And the tone of the book somehow encourages the reader to feel that we are indeed leading up to something happening.
I knew this book had a sound at the end but I had been careful not to let my boys hear it or play with the book at first. So as we repeated the phrase and the quiet cricket kept trying to chirp, the sense that we were leading up to something was in the air. As we turned to the last page, when the cricket finally meets another cricket and something happens, the chirping began. And the way my son's eyes lit up was priceless. He's always loved books and reading, but this was extremely special. To see him SO excited by the entire experience was worth every penny.
I hope you can have a similar experience with your child. :-)