I Ate a Cicada Today by Jeff Crossan
Based on a song of outrageous rhymes, I Ate a Cicada Today is a humorous children's picture book illustrated in ink and watercolor with an accompanying CD. Each two-page spread features a verse about a different animal or insect including such fanciful scenarios as "I peppered a leopard today" and "I hid a giant squid today." The CD is a guitar/vocal performance of the song by author/illustrator Jeff Crossan, who interjects each verse with a short spoken aside to provide added comic punch to the zany lyrics.
We did not get the CD with this book so were unable to review that half of this book. The story itself was silly. If you do not like silly books, you would not like this book. The rhymes are cute and funny. This was not the best book I have read but it was cute and fun!
The pictures are colorful and amazing! They are really eye catching and fun!
Review from my 7 year old son, Max, "This book is so funny! I like the squid the most!"
Q&A with Jeff Crossan
My kids are both very creative. My daughter is an artist and my son is a songwriter. But they
were just little kids when I started coming up with ideas for the song in the restaurant. I was sitting
across from them in a booth and every now and then I’d blurt out “I peppered a leopard” or “I thrilled a
gorilla” or “I hid a giant squid,” any animal rhyme I could think of. They were just sort of amused by
what I doing as I recall. I don’t remember them trying to come up with ideas of their own. If they had,
my son’s ideas would probably have all been dinosaur rhymes and my daughter’s would have been
Where did you get the idea to turn “I Ate a Cicada Today” from a song into a children’s book?
The song sat around gathering dust for several years. I had no idea what to do with it. I was
writing country songs and, let’s face it, there aren’t many country acts out there looking for songs with
a zillion verses about animals and insects. Then I started drawing cartoons for the Presbyterian Voice
and one evening while I was working on a cartoon the thought just popped into my head, “Hey, I could
take that crazy cicada song and turn it into a picture book.” I had more than enough verses to choose
from – 30 or 40, I think. I picked 16 of my favorites and drew the cicada and leopard first.
***This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review***