I Ate a Cicada Today

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 08/29/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jeff Crossan is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated songwriter. His hit songs include the No. 1 country tune “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation,” which earned a BMI Million Air Award.

Before becoming a full time songwriter, Crossan spent time as a newspaper reporter/photographer, music journalist and syndicated radio writer. For several years his cartoons appeared in the Presbyterian Voice. He earned a degree in journalism at the University of Richmond.

Crossan lives in Franklin, Tenn. with his wife, Linda. They have a daughter and a son who have helped them assemble a fine assortment of mammals, reptiles, fish and insects.

I Ate a Cicada Today (September 2014) is his first children’s book. Originally only a song, Crossan got the idea for the rhymes when a flying cicada hit him in the mouth in a restaurant parking lot. While he and his two kids ate dinner, he scribbled rhymes for a song onto a napkin. He revisited the song from time to time through several years, unsure what to do with the offbeat lyrics, eventually developing a picture book using his own illustrations as well.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

I Ate A Cicada Today by writer/illustrator Jeff Crossan is a book of nonsense rhymes for children to enjoy, in the style of Lewis Carroll or Roald Dahl. It features a variety of different animals and actions, and each one is accompanied by a rhyming verse and an extra, amusing commentary beneath each verse from the perspective of the narrator. The key line of each verse is repeated in full-page illustrations that reveal the animal and action after the verse is read, making for a fun surprise at each turn of the page.

Jeff Crossan produces outstandingly beautiful illustrations that are sure to delight both children and adults alike. I found they drew the eye and were entertaining and inventive. I was looking forward to seeing each one as the rhymes continued to unfold. Not being an American, I found some of the grammar and rhyme was a little out of sync for me and hard to understand, but children brought up with American English will have no problem finding the rhythm in the pages. I Ate A Cicada Today would be a valuable resource in a classroom to teach children about rhyme and poetry in a fun, accessible way, as well as being a delightful book for families to read (or sing) together at home. The digital version that I reviewed also had a handy link system at the start of the book, enabling children to interact with the text and find their favourite parts instantly. Overall, this was a delightful and highly recommended read.