Old Cricket

Overview

Old Cricket tells his missus why he can't fix the roof — "I woke with a creak in my knee, dear wife."
He tells Cousin Katydid why he can't pick berries — "I woke with a creak in my knee and a crick in my neck."
He tells Uncle Ant why he can't harvest corn — "I woke with a creak in my knee, a crick in my neck, and a crack in my back....I'm off to see Doc Hopper."
But before he...

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Overview

Old Cricket tells his missus why he can't fix the roof — "I woke with a creak in my knee, dear wife."
He tells Cousin Katydid why he can't pick berries — "I woke with a creak in my knee and a crick in my neck."
He tells Uncle Ant why he can't harvest corn — "I woke with a creak in my knee, a crick in my neck, and a crack in my back....I'm off to see Doc Hopper."
But before he gets there, Old Crow comes calling. "Caw-caw-caw," he says, hungrily. And caw is one C-word Old Cricket can't relish.
The creators of Sailor Moo present a second critter comedy, full of wordplay and antic animation.

Old Cricket doesn't feel like helping his wife and neighbors to prepare for winter and so he pretends to have all sorts of ailments that require the doctor's care, but hungry Old Crow has other ideas.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Think of a cross between Aesop's fable The Grasshopper and the Ant and Steven Spielberg's movie Jurassic Park and you're getting close to the feel of Lisa Wheeler's gently preachy, very cinematic, very scary Old Cricket. — Connie Fletcher
Publishers Weekly
To avoid doing housework, Old Cricket feigns a variety of maladies. "Smartly paced and skillfully drawn, this tale delivers a gentle comeuppance sure to please smart young bugs," wrote PW. Ages 3-6. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It's not nice to fool Mother Nature, nor is it wise to fool your wife. Old Cricket doesn't feel like fixing his roof, so he feigns a pain in his knee. Not wanting to deal with a husband in pain, his wife sends him off to see the doctor. On his way, Old Cricket runs into his cousin Katydid and his ant neighbors who ask him to help them with their chores. Adding to his list of ailments with each visit, Old Cricket informs them of the creak in his knee, the crick in his neck and the crack in his back. To outsmart Old Crow, Old Cricket devises a story that his case of hiccups would surely cause gastric distress if he were to become Old Crow's snack. Much like a modern day Aesop's Fable, Old Cricket barely out-foxes the crow, and conveniently ends up at Doc Hopper's door, who fixes each creak, crick, crack and hic. Doc Hopper sends Old Cricket back home to his wife, who is still awaiting a roof repair. The larger-than-bug-life, colorful, detailed illustrations complement this comical story and enhance the laziness of Old Cricket, the hunger of Old Crow and the wisdom of Mrs. Cricket. A quick vocabulary lesson will be in order, as many readers will have no clue what is meant by consarn it, crotchety or cantankerous. An excellent segue into dictionary exercises! 2003, Atheneum Books,
— Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Crotchety Old Cricket feigns a series of ailments to avoid helping with chores. When his wife asks him to fix the roof, he develops an imaginary creak in his knee, and she sends him hobbling through the woods to see Doc Hopper. On the way, he meets Cousin Katydid, and gets out of helping her pick berries by complaining of a crick in his neck. When he meets Uncle Ant, who needs assistance harvesting corn, Old Cricket adds a crack in his back to his list of maladies. Both of these sympathetic insects give him morsels of food, and Old Cricket becomes tired from carrying his heavy bundle. After he settles in for a nap, a hungry crow startles him awake, and real aches materialize as he races to safety. Cured by Doc Hopper after all, he comes full circle when he returns home and repairs the roof. Wheeler makes excellent use of repetition and alliteration. The text encourages spirited readings and audience participation in the rhythmic refrains of "crick-crick-crick" and "crack-crack-crack." Goembel's acrylic paintings offer an insect's perspective on the world with huge berry bushes and towering corn stalks. The energy of the artwork adds to the excitement as Old Cricket rushes to escape from the hungry crow by throwing him food from his bundle. This amusing tale is a natural for reading aloud and will be requested again and again.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wheeler and Goembel follow up their inspired Sailor Moo (2002) with another sidesplitting animal story, this one with a folkloric, Southern flavor. His "missus" wants Old Cricket to fix the leaky roof, but when he complains of a creak in his knee, she sends him off to Doc Hopper instead. Along the way, Old Cricket avoids more work by suddenly acquiring a crick in the neck and a crack in his back-none of which slows him down when hungry Old Crow happens by. The ensuing merry chase brings Old Cricket right to Doc Hopper's door, his imputed infirmities now all too real. Viewing the action from bug's-eye level, Goembel outfits her big, finely detailed insects in country clothing; Old Cricket, with one antenna broken off, has a crotchety, canny look-as does the missus, who reminds him of the task at hand when he strolls back home. The figures in this original tale seem ready to spring off the pages, and the text, laced with creaks and cracks, is a natural for reading aloud. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416918554
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/9/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 795,235
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 0.10 (h) x 9.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Wheeler has written eighteen books for children, including The Pet Project, illustrated by Zachariah OHora, and the hilarious Spinster Goose, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. She lives with her family in Addison, Michigan. Visit her online at LisaWheelerBooks.com.

Ponder Goembel has illustrated eight books, including two others by Lisa Wheeler, Old Cricket, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and Sailor Moo; A Basket Full of White Eggs, by Brian Swann; and The Night Iguana Left Home, by Megan McDonald. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where the 2005 floods threatened to wash away the nearly finished paintings for this book. Her Web site is www.pondergoembel.com.

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Read an Excerpt


Old Cricket tells his missus why he can't fix the roof -- "I woke with a creak in my knee, dear wife."

He tells Cousin Katydid why he can't pick berries -- "I woke with a creak in my knee and a crick in my neck."

He tells Uncle Ant why he can't harvest corn -- "I woke with a creak in my knee, a crick in my neck, and a crack in my back....I'm off to see Doc Hopper."

But before he gets there, Old Crow comes calling. "Caw-caw-caw," he says, hungrily. And caw is one C-word Old Cricket can't relish.

The creators of Sailor Moo present a second critter comedy, full of wordplay and antic animation.

Read More Show Less

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