NICHOLAS CRICKET

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9780060242169: NICHOLAS CRICKET

Nicholas Cricket and the other members of the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band lead all the forest creatures in a musical celebration of the night.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 4-- Perhaps it's the jacket art's portrait of our hero with two perfectly functional sets of arms spotlighted on a stage that generates the aura of fantasy. Or it might even be the hint of the quasi-classical Butterfly's Ball in the sequence of scenes showing the arrival of the insects to Nick's place to dance the night away to the tunes of the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band. The poem's refrain tells readers that "The music is just so grand," and there's a foot-tapping beat to the variously rhymed lines that demands reading aloud to validate the claim. Phrases such as: "Slap-a-spoon drummers and the crick-crick-crickety kazoo hummers" typify the descriptive candences. Comes the dawn, all "go back with the moonlight under the hill." The paintings are not always as joyous. There is in their frequent use of shadow and silhouette a touch of the mysterious, even the sinister. In the creation of his cast of anthropomorphic critters and in setting them into melodramatic and crowded scenes, Joyce creates a benign Walpurgisnacht. One double-page spread depicts a club full of frenzied dancers that rivals one from one of the Star Wars films. With Joyce's illustrations, it's not just the music that's "so grand." --Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

The too-sweet language of this bedtime rhyme is belied by Joyce's dark and atmospheric illustrations. Every night Nicholas Cricket plays his banjo with the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band. "Moonlight glows and summer wind blows," as "peep-peep-peepers come dancing through the vines" and "rabbits come dancing on tip-tippy toes" because "the music is just so grand." The poem's meter is annoyingly irregular--"In the blue blue night / when the moon is bright / underneath the leaves of summer, / if we're quiet and quick"--and often predictable. But Joyce ( Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo ; George Shrinks ) cleverly evokes the dimly lit speakeasies of Hollywood. Monocled, zoot-suited insects frequent Nick's Cafe where a lady bug wears a red fez, a turtle sports a top hat, and at dawn "the Bug-a-Wugs grow sleepy and still." Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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