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OLD CRICKET by Lisa Wheeler Kirkus Star


by Lisa Wheeler & illustrated by Ponder Goembel

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-84510-3
Publisher: Atheneum

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)