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Old Cricket
Lisa Wheeler
Illustrations by Ponder Goembel
Picture Book
Ages 4 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2003, 1-4169-1855-8
  Old Cricket is not “a dumb bug.” In fact he is quite clever. He is also lazy, not being too keen on working hard, so when his wife asks him to go up on the roof to repair it, he tells her that he cannot possibly go on the roof on account of a “creak” that he has in his knee. His wife then sends him to see Doc Hopper. On his way Old Cricket meets a number of his neighbors who all ask him for his help collecting food items for the winter. For each of them Old Cricket discovers an ailment which prevents him from helping them.
  When Old Cricket finally takes a little rest, he is feeling very pleased with how clever he has been to avoid having to do any work. Unfortunately he is not clever enough to keep hidden from Old Crow who is determined to have Old Cricket for lunch. Old Cricket discovers that being lazy is not all it is cracked (and creaked) up to be.
  This very clever retelling of the classic tale about a lazy insect who does not want to do the work that is necessary to get ready for winter is not only funny, but it is also beautifully illustrated and full of surprises. Younger children will enjoy saying “hic-hic-hic,” “caw-caw-caw,” “creak-creak-creak,” “crack-crack-crack,” and “crick-crick-crick.” Older readers will appreciate the fact that Old Cricket may be clever, but he is not clever enough to outsmart his “missus.”


Old Cricket


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