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Old Cricket
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The team responsible for Sailor Moo returns with a homespun trickster tale enhanced by sprightly humor and ace draftsmanship. Old Cricket, whom Goembel depicts as a handsome fellow with a shiny black exoskeleton, isn't in the mood to help his wife by fixing the roof, and tries malingering instead. "Consarn it!" he says, "I woke with a creak in my knee, dear wife." He promises to visit the doctor, and the narrator adds, sotto voce, "You don't get to be an old cricket by being a dumb bug." The more folks ask for the fellow's help, the more his maladies multiply. By the time Old Cricket meets Old Crow, who eyes him as lunch, he's up to "a creak in my knee, a crick in my neck, a crack in my back, and a hic-hic-hiccup in my head." A fast-paced chase ensues, in which Old Cricket dodges the crow but acquires all of the maladies of which he complains. The artwork keeps readers at the hero's eye level: a red baseball cap rests on the twig bedpost of the crickets' comfy bed and sunlight shines through a hole in their leafy rooftop; outside, corn stalks rise up like sequoias. Old Cricket's only too glad to help with the roof when he finally returns home to his wife, and she knows it: " 'Cause you don't get to be an old missus by being a dumb bug." Smartly paced and skillfully drawn, this tale delivers a gentle comeuppance sure to please smart young bugs. Ages 3-6. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

K-Gr 2-Old Cricket tries to avoid winter preparations by complaining of various ailments on his way to see Doc Hopper. Industrious Aunt Katydid, Uncle Ant, and others sympathize until an unexpected encounter with Crow quickly restores Old Cricket's agility. Clever wordplay and amusing illustrations of the insect world add to read-aloud fun. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"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."-- "Kirkus Reviews," starred review "Smartly paced and skillfully drawn, this tale delivers a gentle comeuppance sure to please smart young bugs."-- "Publishers Weekly," starred review "This amusing tale...will be requested again and again."-- "School Library Journal," starred review 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."" -- "New York Times Book Review" "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.""-- "New York Times Book Review"

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