cover image Cicada Symphony

Cicada Symphony

Sue Fliess, illus. by Gareth Lucas. Albert Whitman, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-1161-9

Euphonic rhyming couplets sing in praise of cicadas alongside details about their life cycle in this vibrant picture book. Beginning pages present purply yellow nymphs waiting underground until they surface and molt. “A newly emerged adult cicada looks almost alien,” describes one straightforward snippet, while rhymes elaborate: “Plump cicada, milky-white,/ gleams and glistens in the light./ Veins turn orange, soon complete./ Blue-black body. Clawlike feet.” Feeding (and being fed on), flying, and mating proceed until the cycle begins anew. The insects’ forms and beady red eyes aptly fill the pages of Lucas’s bold artwork, which bursts with chromatic coloring and geometric layers. Conveying everything from the volume of males’ distinctive songs to the bugs’ innate clumsiness, Fliess informs while maintaining a light, adoring tone that reveals cicadas’ remarkableness. A glossary and author’s note conclude. Ages 4–8. (May)