Crickwing

Janell Cannon, Author Harcourt Children's Books $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-15-201790-3
Tired of being bullied, an artistic cockroach with a crooked wing and a penchant for culinary sculpture (""I just like to play with my food"") begins picking on creatures even smaller than himself--leafcutter ants--and is taken prisoner by the colony. Crickwing is sentenced to be served up as a peace offering to the army ants, but a few brave rebels have a change of heart and set him free. The grateful (and penitent) cockroach repays their kindness and saves the colony by scaring off the army ants with his best sculpture ever--a giant green anteater made of leaves. The tale ends with Crickwing joining the leafcutters as their chef; the celebration that follows includes flower confetti and dancing (the ""six-step,"" naturally). Cannon (Verdi) works her picture book magic once again, producing an amusing tale lightly rooted in natural history (notes on cockroaches and ants follow the story). Reeling in her audience with saucy characters and an engaging plotline, she hooks them with her vibrant visuals. Whether depicting Crickwing creating an edible mouse from a root, leaves and berries, an ocelot peering at him as he hides under a stone or a herd of leafcutter ants falling into one his traps, Cannon's illustrations skillfully blur the line between fact and fancy, and add another feather to her well-decorated cap. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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FORMATS
Paperback - 48 pages - 978-0-15-205061-0
Prebound-Other - 48 pages - 978-0-606-33397-9
Prebound-Sewn - 48 pages - 978-1-4177-0572-6
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7569-5051-4
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